Swimmer Profile - Kayla Van Der Merwe – LEN


A strong British team will contest the LEN European Short Course Swimming Championships in Glasgow, featuring four recently-crowned world champions. Here’s our one-stop-shop for getting to know your home heroes that will descend on Tollcross and compete for medals with Europe’s best. Freya Anderson: a Scouse sensation whose inexorable rise shows no signs of slowing. IG – […]
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EuroSwim 2019 in numbers

What a week it was at EuroSwim in Glasgow, with Tollcross crowds given endless thrills, British success and a host of great memories to cherish.  Russia topped the medal table and Great Britain took home their best haul of medals since 2003, continuing the team’s storied relationship with the Glasgow pool. And British teenage sensation Freya Anderson […]
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Kolesnikov reels off double gold as Russia rule on final night at EuroSwim

Kliment Kolesnikov underlined his status as one of swimming’s brightest young stars with two golds inside an hour as Russia dominated the final night of the LEN European Short Course Championships. The 19-year-old broke the 200m long-course backstroke world record in Glasgow last year but didn’t get a fairytale return, crashing out in the 200m […]
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Three things from Tollcross: Hopkin sets up tilt at top step as EuroSwim builds to climax

Europe’s elite scrabbled for lanes in Sunday morning’s heats ahead of a grandstand final night, promising ten back-to-back finals and non-stop drama. With Freya Anderson going for gold once again and Duncan Scott set to race in three finals, it’s set to be a memorable evening with limited tickets still available for the session. Here […]
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Anderson stuns to claim second gold on a magical night at EuroSwim

Freya Anderson did it again. Great Britain’s teenage sensation sent a loud Tollcross crowd wild for a second night running, soaring to 200m freestyle success and thumping her own national record. Then back to anchor her nation to silver in the mixed 4x50m freestyle, taking the medal tally to nine, Anderson is emerging as the […]
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Three Things from Tollcross: Champions back in the pool on sprint Saturday

Day Three heroes rode the wave of their success on Saturday morning as a bumper weekend at EuroSwim gathers pace. Gold medallists from Friday night Freya Anderson, Vladimir Morozov and Katinka Hosszu all dived back into competition and underlined their multiple medal credentials. Here are three things you might have missed from the morning session. […]
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Anderson outshines big names to claim gold on thrilling Friday at EuroSwim

A star is born in Great Britain’s Freya Anderson, who held off a world-class field to win 100m freestyle gold at the LEN European Short Course Championships. Anderson, 18, sealed a maiden international title with aplomb in front of a boisterous home crowd at Tollcross, a superb final two lengths underpinning a personal best 51.49. […]
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Three things from Tollcross: Britain set up frantic Friday night at EuroSwim

Friday at EuroSwim is already coming to the boil after morning heats bubbled away and teed up more medal chances for Britain in the Tollcross pool. After sealing medals on Thursday night, Duncan Scott, Vladimir Morozov and Kira Toussaint returned to the water and showed their class once again. Here are three quick takeaways from […]
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Litchfield bags Britain gold as world record falls at EuroSwim

It’s all on track to Tokyo for Max Litchfield after dominant 400m individual medley gold at the LEN European Short Course Championships. The Yorkshireman, who arrived in Glasgow with an entry time four seconds quicker than any other, delivered Britain’s first EuroSwim gold medal to the delight of a bumper Tollcross crowd. Litchfield’s family, also […]
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Huge volunteer effort forms backbone of smooth running of EuroSwim

More than 225 volunteers have teamed up with Glasgow Life to deliver the LEN European Short Course Championships at Tollcross International Swimming Centre this week, with applicants from as far away as Hungary and the United Arab Emirates. From directing spectators to their seats, providing information and support to the swimmers and the media, organizing […]
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Three things from Tollcross: Scott’s away on Day Two at EuroSwim

A pulsating first night gave way to a fascinating second morning with the LEN European Short Course Championships well underway. It was Italy atop the medal table after Day One, but eight further champions will be crowned at Tollcross tonight and Britain will be well in the hunt. Here are three things we learned from […]
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Swimmer Profile – Kayla Van Der Merwe

It’s her 17th birthday today and what better present could Kayla Van Der Merwe wish for than a high-flying debut at the LEN European Short Course Championships in Glasgow next month.

Van Der Merwe represents the youngest member of the British team participating in the competition, bringing youthful exuberance to the Scottish water to accompany some of the more experienced members of the home contingent.

But that’s not to say she hasn’t already achieved considerable success on the international stage, scooping a pair of medals at this summer’s FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Budapest.

The precocious young talent claimed silver in the 50m Breaststroke before going on to win bronze in the 100m event just two days later, making a name for herself at the greatest junior stage of all and fuelling momentum going into December’s Short Course Championship.

And that wasn’t the only success Van Der Merwe had this summer, also winning gold in the 100m Breaststroke at the European Junior Championships in Kazan in July.

Indeed, that was just one of the medals the just-turned 17-year-old travelled home from Russia with, claiming bronze in the 200m Breaststroke and clinching a further third-place in the 4x100m relay to mark herself out as one of the competition’s unequivocal rising stars.

And this summer was also one filled with individual landmarks for Van Der Merwe, setting a new personal best on the way to securing her World Championship 100m Breaststroke bronze by touching the wall in a speedy 1 minute 7.06 seconds.

Just 0.13 seconds separated the top three in Budapest – Russia’s Evgeniia Chikunova took the ultimate crown and USA’s Kaitlyn Dobler claimed silver – with Van Der Merwe’s time emerging as the sixth fastest ever in British breaststroke history.

And she’s now putting in the final preparations for making her senior debut in Glasgow, also being selected to be part of a 48-strong British Swimming World Class Programme squad for the 2019-20 season that comprises all those performers who possess medal potential at Tokyo 2020.

So, with the LEN European Short Course Championships now just weeks away, Van Der Merwe is without doubt one to watch out for as she embarks on her senior swimming odyssey.

Follow Kayla on social

Twitter – @kayla_vdmerwe

Instagram – @kaylavdm.xo

Short Course records

100m Breaststroke – 1:07.06

Fun fact

She may have only just turned 17 but Van Der Merwe’s time of 1 minute 7.06 seconds was the sixth fastest time in senior British breaststroke history.