Late-bloomer Martin Binedell makes Commonwealth Game qualifying time

20 December 2017 - 12:01 By David Isaacson‚ In Durban
Martin Binedell of South Africa in the heats of the mens 4x100m medley relay during day 17 of the FINA World Championships at Duna Arena on July 30, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary.
Martin Binedell of South Africa in the heats of the mens 4x100m medley relay during day 17 of the FINA World Championships at Duna Arena on July 30, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary.
Image: Roger Sedres/ImageSA/Gallo Images

Martin Binedell on Wednesday morning added his name to the list of swimmers to have achieved qualifying times for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia.

With Olympians Brad Tandy and Doug Erasmus making it in the 50 metre freestyle‚ along with Maties swimmer Armand Maritz‚ the number of qualified swimmers has swollen to 28.

Binedell’s 2min 00.52sec in the 200m backstroke heats at the trials for the Games in Durban puts him into selection contention‚ but his personal best from the World Student Games in August could cement his spot.

There’s no guarantee of being picked because the team is decided by the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc)‚ not Swimming SA.

Binedell‚ 22‚ finished sixth at the Universiade in Taipei in 1:58.17‚ which ranks him fifth in the Commonwealth.

“I would need to drop a second off my time to get into medal contention at Gold Coast‚ but that is my goal‚ to go for a podium finish‚” said the B Comm marketing student at Varsity College.

He admitted he was a late bloomer.

“I’ve always been late to the party when I compare myself to others‚” he said‚ referring to his Seagulls teammate Calvyn Justus‚ who competed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Breaking his elbow in a gym accident three months before the 2016 Olympic trials didn’t help his bid to get into the senior national team.

“I spent three years sitting on 2:00 and I finally broke that at the national championships in April.”

He dipped under that again at the world championships in Budapest and then at the student showpiece.

Affies Girls High School pupil Duné Coetzee produced her second qualifying effort of the gala‚ this time in the 200m butterfly‚ which she favours above the 200m freestyle.


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