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Feb 14 19

Leading swimmers confirmed for inaugural FINA Marathon Swim World Series 2019 in Doha

by ZwemZa

Arianna Bridi will seek to continue her good current form ©Getty Images

The FINA Marathon Swim World Series 2019 is just around the corner with the inaugural leg to be hosted in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday February 16. Entry lists for both the men and women’s races includes Olympic and World champions as well as many of the sport’s top-ranked athletes.

A total of 135 swimmers (84 male and 51 female athletes) from 24 countries have signed up for the first meet of the 10km circuit to be staged at the scenic Doha Corniche.

Leading long-distance swimmers taking part are reigning Olympic and World champions Sharon Van Rouwendaal (NED) and Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA), who is also the overall winner of the FINA Marathon Swim World Series 2018, 2014, 2012 and 2010.

Other top swimmers include Rio Olympic silver medallist Rachele Bruni (ITA), World Series veteran and European champion Arianna Bridi (ITA) and former World champion Angela Maurer (GER).

In the men’s line-up, overall Series winner in 2016 and 2017 Simone Ruffini (ITA), 2018 Series runner-up Jack Burnell (GBR) and Florian Wellbrock (GER) will also be present, while Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) and Jordan  Wilimovsky (USA) are other strong medal contenders to watch for on Saturday.

Germany and Italy have sent the biggest teams – 13 swimmers each – to Doha. USA (12 swimmers), China (11) and Hungary (10) have also arrived in the Qatari capital with big contingents.

President of Qatar Swimming Association (QSA) and FINA Bureau member Mr. Khaleel Al-Jabir said that preparations are on track for the competition.

Preparations for the event are progressing well and according to our plans. In few days time, our team will welcome the best open water swimmers of the world in this magnificent set up on the Doha Corniche”.

Doha’s competition was a successful opener of the World Series in 2018, setting the pace for the coming meets. 135 swimmers will compete in this year’s event, which will be a new participation record. It will be a promising and exciting competition as many Olympic medallists and World Championships winners will compete in a stunning set up,” he concluded.

The 2019 circuit will then move to the Seychelles for a race on May 12.

You can follow Saturday’s race in Doha live on FINAtv and results will be available on FINA mobile app or on FINA website.

Calendar 2019

#1 – Doha (QAT) – February 16
#2 – Seychelles (SEY) – May 12
#3 – Setubal (POR) – June 8
#4 – Balatonfured (HUN) – June 15
#5 – Lac St Jean (CAN) – July 21
#6 – Lac Megantic (CAN) – August 3
#7 – Ohrid (MKD) – August 28
#8 – Chinese Taipei (TPE) – September 7
#9 – Chun’An (CHN) – September 29

FINA Communications Department

Feb 14 19

Adam Peaty: Olympic champion to skip inaugural Fina Champions Swim Series to focus on World Championships

by ZwemZa

Adam Peaty had backed the International Swimming League, which Fina forced the cancellation of in December (Getty Images)

British Olympic champion Adam Peaty will not take part in the inaugural Fina Champions Swim Series in order to fine-tune his preparations for the “World Championships and beyond”.

Swimming’s world governing body announced the three-leg series in December after it forced the cancellation of a new rival event.

Peaty, 24, had backed plans to launch the new International Swimming League.

But he said the Champions Swim Series was a “step in the right direction”.

The event will take place between March and May but specific dates and locations for it have yet to be revealed by Fina.

“I have decided not to participate in Fina’s new Champions Series due to focusing my preparation on the World Championships and beyond,” Peaty said on Twitter.

“However, it’s definitely a step in the right direction for the sport.”

In December, Peaty told BBC Sport that swimming was “stuck in 1970” after Fina cancelled the ISL, which had been due to take place in Italy later that month.

Fina had indicated that any swimmer who competed in it could be barred from events including this year’s World Championships – which will take place in Gwanju, South Korea between 12-28 July – but it has now backtracked on the threat leaving the ISL event set to undergo a delayed launch in August.

Fina hope their “innovative” new format will appease those who have voiced frustrations with their governance in recent years.

Analysis

BBC Sport Olympic reporter Nick Hope

Peaty’s decision not to race in the new Champions Series is a blow for Fina, but realistically one they should have been expecting this given his recent criticisms of the sport’s governing body and commitment to the rival International Swimming Series (ISL) we’ll see debut later in the year.

Although we don’t know the full list of swimmers Fina have invited to compete, Swedish Olympic champion and world record holder Sarah Sjostrom is amongst the highest-profile swimmers out there and her commitment to race is a significant positive endorsement.

Australian Olympic gold medallist Bronte Campbell revealed she has not received an invite – which is a surprise; but perhaps less so than the decision to include the USA’s Michael Andrew, who does not fit the selection standard and is one of three swimmers currently suing Fina in the USA.

The biggest reaction so far though has come through the news that two of the sport’s most controversial figures – Sung Yang and Yuliya Efimova – have been invited.

The respective Chinese and Russian swimmers have both served doping bans in the past and for that reason were not invited to take part in the inaugural ISL competition.

However, as an event run by a private company they can make that stand, whereas Fina would have found themselves in a legally tricky position had they tried a similar move.

BBC Sport

Feb 13 19

All eyes on Sunday River for the 95th River Mile

by ZwemZa

Defending Champion Amica De Jager from Nelson Mandela University will be looking to secure a hat-trick of wins on Sunday after grabbing the Ladies Mile titles in 2017 and 2018. (Zsports)

Africa’s oldest swimming event will form part of the River Mile festival at the Sundays River Cannonville Slipway this Sunday.

On Sunday the 95th edition of The River Mile will take place at the beautiful venue. The race is the oldest known open water swimming event in Africa and one of the oldest in the world. Event winners can be tracked all the way back to the first race which was won by Roy Gregory in 1924. On that same day, the team trophy was also competed for. The first 5 swimmers across the finish line from the same club were declared the winners and so The River Mile was born.

For this year’s event swimmers will be competing in similar categories. The action in the water together with the “off-field” entertainment and R10 000 prize for the school with the most entries will promise another exciting River Mile. There are many things that have changed during the past 95 years. The 1930’s would not have seen over 400 vehicles showing up to the event, it would not have had a pop-up beer garden in the form of Bridge Street Brewery. For a time in the 70’s, skiing became popular and displays were held at the event, a sport which is now almost non-existent in the Bay.

This year will once again see new piece of technology used when a 144-inch big screen television will live stream the event to social media sites and be watched by hundreds of spectators in the Cerebos chill zone. The new addition is sure to create a friendly, family perfect atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.

Even though there are different winners each year, new technology which comes in from time to time, fads which come and go and recently even a venue change, The River Mile race format has remained very much the same for nearly a century. This makes it one of most illustrious races to swim and complete.

This year’s favourites all stand the chance to put their name next to 94 others on the trophy, something not many other event winners can say.

Secure your entry now at www.rivermile.co.za

Supplied by Zsports

Feb 13 19

Japan minister sorry for ill Olympic swimmer gaffe

by ZwemZa

Rikako Ikee (The Japan Times)

Japan’s gaffe-prone Olympics Minister was forced to apologise on Wednesday after suggesting that the leukaemia diagnosis of 18-year-old star swimmer Rikako Ikee could dampen enthusiasm for the Tokyo 2020 Games.

The shock announcement of Ikee – widely considered the poster girl for next year’s Olympics – that she was battling the disease touched the hearts of Japanese everywhere and sparked an outpouring of well-wishes.

However, the minister, Yoshitaka Sakurada, appeared to voice sadness that Japan’s medal tally might be affected as a result.

“She is a potential gold medallist, an athlete in whom we have great expectations. I’m really disappointed,” said the 69-year-old, according to local media.

“When one person leads, she can boost the whole team. I am slightly worried that this type of excitement could wane.”

Following a backlash from the public and opposition politicians, Sakurada sought to clarify his stance and admitted his comments “lacked consideration.”

This is not the first time Sakurada has made unwanted headlines.

He attracted widespread ridicule when he admitted that he “does not use computers” in his professional life. He doubles as deputy chief of Japan’s cyber security strategy.

Sakurada also sparked anger for ill-advised comments in 2016 when he described the “comfort women” forced to work in military brothels servicing Japanese wartime troops as “professional prostitutes.”

Ikee shot to fame at last year’s Asian Games, where she captured a record six gold medals to fire a warning for the 2020 Olympics in her home city.

The teenage superstar, who holds a string of national records, has been tipped to push for gold on several fronts, in particular in the women’s 100 metres butterfly.

Ikee told fans she was determined to beat her illness after being forced to abandon her training camp on Australia’s Gold Coast.

“If treated properly it’s a disease that can be beaten,” said Ikee, who confirmed she will withdraw from the Japanese championships in April.

“I will devote myself to my treatment and strive to be able to show an even stronger Rikako Ikee.”

AFP

Feb 13 19

Italy sets the pace in Santa Fe, Italy sets the pace in Santa Fe, double gold for Argentinian hosts in Rosario

by ZwemZa

Barbara Pozzobon (Facebook)

Italy and Argentina were the two big winners at the two inaugural legs of the FINA UltraMarathon Swim Series 2019 that were hosted in Santa Fe and Rosario, Argentina, on February 3 and February 9 respectively.

Italy clearly dominated the first leg in Santa Fe as Francesco Ghettini and Barbara Pozzobon claimed gold in the 15km race, clocking times of 3h19m00s68 and 3h20m41s96 respectively. The men’s silver and bronze medals were also secured by Italian swimmers with Simone Ercoli (3h19m01s79) and Edoardo Stochino (3h19m03s94).

Argentina’s Pilar Geijo (3h26m55s85) and Romina Soledad Imwinkelriedt (3h30m51s43) stepped on the second and third steps of the podium in Sante Fe.

In Rosario, the host nation stood out, adding five medals out of six to their tally. The men’s podium was a 100% Argentinian with Ivo Cassini (2h32m04s00), Guillermo Bertola (2h32m05s00) and Joaquin Moreno (2h32m10s00).

Cecilia Biagioli and Julia Lucila Arino (ARG) clinched the gold and bronze at stake in 2h33m10s00 and 2h36m47s00 respectively, while Santa Fe winner Barbara Pozzobon managed to secure the second position in 2h37m04s00.

Results in Santa Fe (15km)

Men: 1. Francesco Ghettini (ITA) 3h19m00s68; 2. Simone Ercoli (ITA) 3h19m01s79; 3. Edoardo Stochino (ITA) 3h19m03s94

Women: 1. Barbara Pozzobon (ITA) 3h20m41s96; 2. Pilar Geijo (ARG) 3h26m55s85; 3. Romina Soledad Imwinkelriedt (ARG) 3h30m51s43

Results in Rosario (15km)

Men: 1. Ivo Cassini (ARG) 2h32m04s00; 2. Guillermo Bertola (ARG) 2h32m05s00; 3. Joaquin Moreno (ARG) 2h32m10s00

Women: 1.Cecilia Biagioli (ARG) 2h33m10s00; 2. Barbara Pozzobon (ITA) 2h36m47s00; 3. Julia Lucila Arino (ARG) 2h37m04s00

FINA Communications Department

Feb 12 19

Star Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee announces leukemia diagnosis

by ZwemZa

Rikako Ikee (The Star online)

Star Japanese swimmer and Asian Games MVP Rikako Ikee has been diagnosed with leukemia, the 18-year-old Olympic hopeful announced via Twitter on Tuesday.

Ikee, the poster girl for next year’s Tokyo Olympics, has been diagnosed with leukaemia, the 18-year-old tweeted on Tuesday.

In a shock announcement, Ikee said:“After feeling unwell I returned in haste from Australia and following tests I was diagnosed with leukaemia. I still can’t believe it myself, I’m in a state of confusion.”

Ikee shot to fame at last year’s Asian Games, where she captured a record six gold medals to fire a warning for the 2020 Olympics in her home city.

The teenage superstar, who holds a string of national records, has been tipped to push for gold on several fronts, in particular in the women’s 100 metres butterfly.

Ikee told fans she was determined to beat her illness after being forced to abandon her training camp on Australia’s Gold Coast.

“If treated properly it’s a disease that can be beaten,” said Ikee, who confirmed she will withdraw from the Japanese championships in April.

“I will devote myself to my treatment and strive to be able to show an even stronger Rikako Ikee.”

Ikee’s coach Jiro Miki confessed he had never seen the swimmer struggle as much as she had while training in Australia.

“I had never seen her breathing as heavily as that,” he said.

“We took her to a local hospital to check her blood and heart but decided to return to Japan as quickly as possible to undergo further tests. But as for her motivation to beat this disease, I can only bow my head at her determination.”

Miki revealed that Ikee has been admitted to hospital to begin treatment.

“She is not moping about,” he added.

“She is absolutely positive about beating this as quickly as possible.”

Ikee stole the headlines from giant Chinese swimmer Sun Yang at the Asian Games in Jakarta as she finished with eight medals in total, a haul previously achieved only by North Korean shooter So Gin-man in 1982.

Japan’s new swimming pin-up would have gone into this year’s world championships in South Korea as a strong favourite in the 100m butterfly, while also a threat in the 200m freestyle.

After her breakout performance in Jakarta, Ikee told AFP that she welcomed the pressure to produce at the Tokyo Olympics.

“Pressure for me is something I thrive on,” she said.

“There will be a lot of Japanese fans cheering for me at the Tokyo Olympics in my home city – maybe even some from overseas too – and that’s going to give me great strength.

“The more fans that come, the stronger I’ll be,” added Ikee.

“When it comes to swimming, I just really hate to lose.”

Japanese swim officials were left stunned by the news after Ikee’s return to Japan late last week.

“I could never imagine Ikee could suffer an illness like this,” said Japan Swimming Federation vice-president Koji Ueno, noting that doctors believe they detected the disease in its early stages.

“It’s just so very hard to comprehend. It is a severe diagnosis and a tough road back but we would ask everyone for their warm prayers to help her make a full recovery. We want to do everything we can to allow her to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.”

Ikee can take strength from several top athletes who beat cancer, including cyclist Lance Armstrong and ice hockey star Mario Lemieux.

Closer to home, former Australia rugby international Christian Lealiifano overcame leukaemia and currently plays for Super Rugby’s Brumbies, while Malaysia’s former badminton world number one Lee Chong Wei is set to return to the sport after recovering from nose cancer.

(Twitter)
池江 璃花子
@rikakoikee
ご報告です。
7:00 AM – Feb 12, 2019

The Tokyo native felt ill during a three-week training camp in Australia earlier this month and left early to return to Japan to be examined by medical staff.

Ikee won six gold medals at Jakarta Asian Games last summer, where she was named the MVP of the competition. She will withdraw from national championships in April in Tokyo.

www.japantimes.co.jp & AFP

Feb 12 19

Mental Toughness Toolbox: Getting to “Good Nervous”, Staying calm the night before that big meet

by ZwemZa

(USA Swimming)

The skill of relaxation is a cornerstone of mental toughness training. Having the ability to consciously relax your body helps you handle the pressure of competition so that you can stay in “good nervous” leading up to your events. It also cools your body down in between races and after meets, enables you to maintain the right focus of concentration before and during your race and it properly prepares you for the use of mental rehearsal. Without the ability to relax, you can never reach your true potential as a swimmer.

A key relaxation strategy that you want to add to your mental toughness toolbox is called  PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION (PMR). It teaches you not only HOW to relax, but also how to RECOGNIZE exactly where you put physical tension in your body. It’s an easy skill to learn, and with a little practice, you can master it to the point where you are able to calm yourself relatively quickly when you’re behind the blocks pre-race.

Keep in mind though that like any skill, mastery of PMR can only come with regular practice. If you’ve never worked on this relaxation technique and then you try to use it when you’re really nervous, I can guarantee you that it won’t work for you!

Progressive muscle relaxation is a great technique for you to use the nights leading up to those big meets! A great time for you to practice PMR is right before bedtime. After a two to three-week practice regimen, you will find that you’re able to streamline the 15 – 20 minute exercise and relax yourself within a minute or two!

In PMR, you work your way through the muscle groupings of your body from your head to your toes or vice versa, alternating tightening your muscles with relaxing them. You should always try to hold the tension in each muscle group for 10 seconds and be sure that contraction is to no more than 90% of your strength. Also, it is important to keep your focus on the physical sensations in the muscle grouping that you’re tightening. Remember to maintain relaxation in all other muscles except the ones being tightened. When you release the tension, be sure to focus on the feeling of that muscle group relaxing, so that you’re continuously comparing the sensations of muscle tension with relaxation.

PREPARATION:

In the beginning, you want to allow approximately 20 minutes for each PMR session in an environment that is free from distractions. You may want to take the following directions and make your own relaxation recording. Slowly read them into a recording app, allowing 10 seconds for each contraction and 10 seconds for each release. You can even dub in relaxing music in the background. Lie comfortably on your back, feet spread about 18” apart, hands by your sides, palms up. Close your eyes.

PROCEDURE:

1. Begin to tighten all the muscles up and down your right leg until you reach 90% tension. Pointing the toes either toward or away from your head will help you increase tension. Raising the leg one half inch off the ground also helps to tighten your leg muscles. Hold the leg tension for 10 seconds. Study the tension. Feel it…..

Repeat to yourself the words, “let go” as you allow the leg to slowly relax, letting the tension flow out onto the surface you’re lying on. Feel the difference in your leg now… inhale slowly and deeply, filling your abdomen, pause…, and then exhale…..

2. Repeat the entire procedure for your right leg again, noting the difference between being tight in that area and loose. End by inhaling deeply and exhaling.

3. Tighten all the muscles up and down your left leg and hold the tension for 10 seconds. Study the tension as you hold it. Repeat to yourself, “let go” and let the tension slowly drain from the left leg. Note the sensations that accompany relaxation…the heaviness, warmth, tingling, lightness or other feelings that are associated with looseness and relaxation. Inhale…pause…and exhale….

4. Repeat the entire procedure for your left leg again…then inhale… pause…and exhale.

5. Tighten your buttocks muscles to 90% tension and hold it. Become aware of the feelings. Repeat the “let go” after 10 seconds as you let the tension drain from this area. Feel the looseness here. Inhale…pause… exhale.

6. Repeat procedure for the buttocks muscles. Inhale…exhale.

7. Tighten abdominal muscles noting the sensations of tension here. Hold it…then “let go” and allow the tension to flow from this area. Feel the difference. Study it closely…inhale…then exhale.

8. Repeat procedure for the abdominal muscles. Inhale….exhale….

9. Tighten all the muscles of the chest and across the back of the shoulders by pushing your shoulder blades back and into the floor. Feel the tension, study it, now “let go” and feel the relaxation as it flows into this part of your body. Inhale pause…exhale.

10. Repeat entire procedure for chest and shoulders. Inhale….pause… exhale.

11. Tense the muscles of both arms by slowly making a fist and increasing tension to 90%. Notice the feelings of tension up and down the arms. “Let go” and allow the tension to drain down your arms from your shoulders to your fingertips. Inhale…pause….exhale.

12. Repeat entire procedure for both arms, becoming aware of the sensations that accompany tension and relaxation. Inhale…pause exhale.

13. Tense the muscles in your neck by pressing down with your head into the surface that you are resting on. Notice the tension in this area. Feel it, then “let go” and allow the tightness to slowly drain from your neck. Study the difference here. Inhale…pause…exhale.

14. Repeat procedure for the neck. Inhale…pause…exhale.

15. Tighten your jaw muscles by clenching your teeth together. Note the feelings of tightness in this area. Feel it, then “let go” and allow the tension to drain from your jaws. Inhale…pause…exhale.

16. Repeat entire procedure for jaw muscles. Inhale…pause…exhale.

17. Tense the muscles in your face…grimace, frown, clench your teeth. Hold the tension. Feel what that is like. “Let go” and allow all the facial muscles to relax and soften. Feel the difference. Inhale…pause…exhale.

18. Repeat procedure for face. Inhale…pause…exhale.

19. Tighten all the muscles in your body to 90% tension—Your arms, legs, buttocks, abdomen, chest, shoulders, neck, face and feel the tension. Hold it for 10 seconds and then “let go” and slowly allow your body to become totally loose and limp. Inhale, pause…exhale.

20. Repeat procedure for entire body. Inhale…pause…exhale.

21. If any areas of your body remain tense, focus on them by tightening, holding the tension, then letting go.

Let me remind you that you must first learn the skill of relaxation in a non-stressful environment before you can depend upon it working for you when you’re feeling the stress of a high level, competitive meet. Once you have gotten proficient at PMR, you will then have the ability to quickly relax yourself within a minute or two, just by directing your attention to a muscle grouping and repeating to yourself that phrase, “let go.” This streamlined tool is a powerful technique to have available when you’re behind the blocks waiting for your big race and you suddenly notice your system is starting to get too amped up!

Alan Goldberg USA Swimming Contributor

Feb 11 19

‘Stay away from energy drinks’ nutritionist advises learners

by ZwemZa

Students and learners who turn to energy drinks to keep them awake and their minds active while they study for long periods risk damaging their health.

During examinations learners may want to stay charged and active, and some need to stay awake into the night but are only able to do this with the help of energy drinks – which contain a lot of stimulants and sugar.

“I personally prefer Score energy drink. It’s cheap and I can get a 550ml can for only R10.  At times I use Bioplus sachets, and these boosters help me stay awake for longer hours. But what I have noticed is that after staying energized for longer, when the booster is no longer in my system I get extremely exhausted. And then I use my pocket money to buy a six pack so I can keep awake,” said 17-year-old Qaqamba Duka, who is a grade 11 learner.

According to the SA Sports and Energy Drinks Industry Landscape Report compiled in 2017, the amount of sugar contained in Bioplus is 31g per 250 ml, Monster Energy has 27.5g per 250 ml and Power Play has 29.25 g per 250 ml.

Not a form of sustained energy

Nutritionist Mpho Tshukudu said leaners writing their exams should stay away from energy boosters as they contain unhealthy amounts of sugar.

“Energy drinks contain sugar, which is refined carbohydrates. They boost energy boost levels because blood sugar levels rise quickly, and last about 30 minutes. But because there is such a large amount of sugar the body will quickly process it into fat – so it’s not a form of sustained energy. Eating something light like wholegrain bread or fruit with yoghurt and nuts will certainly give one a sustained amount of energy,” he said.

“When refined sugar levels rise and then suddenly drop, it affects concentration, so energy drinks are not the ideal product to have while studying.  Energy drinks also contain lots of caffeine which is not supposed to be consumed by a child as their brains are not yet fully developed. Yes, they will keep one awake, but they will interfere with the amount of information a brain can retain,” Tshukudu explained.

He advises leaners to make sure they have good amount of sleep, as not having enough sleep interferes with concentration. – Health-e News.

Feb 11 19

Australians walk away with aQuellé Midmar Mile honours

by ZwemZa

Nick Sloman heads for the finish at the 2019 aQuelle’ Midmar Mile (Twitter)

Powerful Australian swimmers clinched the honours in the men’s and women’s races of the 46th aQuellé Midmar Mile yesterday, with both contests finishing in closely-contested sprints featuring some South African big names.

The popular two-day event at Midmar Dam near Howick was attended by some 13 000 elite and social swimmers who made use of perfect conditions to enjoy a great time in the water, with many recording personal best (PB) times.

Competing in the colours of Noosa, juggernauts Nick Sloman and Kareena Lee of Australia needed a solid training swimming race in preparation for the Fina 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup in Doha next week.

The 21-year-old Sloman set the pace from start to finish to claim the first prize in a time of 17 minutes one second, narrowly missing breaking the record of 17:00 set by seven-time champion Chad Ho in 2015.

He was followed by South African teenager Michael McGlynn who held on to take second position in 17:28, leaving his brother Chris behind in sixth, while Danie Marais (17:29) sealed third spot.

“I’m a little tired now. I pretty much gave it a 100%. My body is sore, every muscle is sore. I just gave it everything I had,’’ said a visibly-elated Sloman upon winning the event on his first attempt.

“I wanted to break that record, but I had it in my mind that it’s a very fast time and not realising that I actually was on course and by the time I looked up I could see there was no way I could make it.

“But I had a blast. It’s good training ahead of the World Cup to see if I can hold up against some of the world champs in Doha.”

Kareena Lee chats to the media after he resounding win at the 2019 aQuelle’ Midmar Mile (Twitter)

Just like Sloman, the 25-year-old Lee led the women’s race from start to finish, clocking 18:20 on her first aQuellé Midmar Mile race, ahead of South African swimmers Michelle Weber and Samantha Randle in second and third respectively.

She could not be prouder of her effort. “I’m feeling really good. I knew there was going to be some tough competition and when the race started I decided to stay to the left-hand side because the drag was pushing right and I knew that I had to go faster.

“I had no idea that I had dropped the rest of the girls. I just kept going,’’ explained an elated Lee.

Durban resident Weber (22), who has been taking part at the event since she was 11, went one place better this time, clocking her personal best time of 18:34, and said she had a great time in the water. “It was really fun. I love swimming the aQuellé Midmar Mile.

“I think I would have loved to have done better. But I mean you can never tell what’s going to happen with open water swimming.

“It’s important just to do the best that you can and learn what you’ve done wrong and apply it to your next race,’’ said the University of South Africa (Unisa) Business Management and Economics first year student.

Next for her is the Sanlam Cape Mile this week and she hoped she could learn from her mistakes and hopefully do better on Sunday.

Among those attending the race was Bafana Bafana legend Mark Fish, who completed his third aQuellé Midmar Mile this year to raise awareness for cancer.

TOP 3 TIMES

Men

Nick Sloman 17:01

Michael McGlynn 17:28

Daniel Marais 17:29

Women

Kareena Lee 18:20

Michelle Weber 19:26

Samantha Randle 19:29

Feb 10 19

International stars claim Midmar Mile spoils

by ZwemZa

Nick Sloman (Ausswim)

International duo Nick Sloman and Kareena Lee won the main races of the 2019 Midmar Mile on Sunday.

Sloman claimed victory in the elite men’s event in 17:01, narrowly missing breaking the record of 17:00 set by Chad Ho. Second place went to Michael McGlynn (17:28) with Daniel Marais (17:29) in third.

Victory in the elite ladies’ event went to Australian Lee in 18:21, with South Africans Michelle Weber and Samantha Randle taking the second and third spots.

This year marked the 46th edition of the world’s largest open water swim and once again saw swimmers from across the globe stream to the Midmar Dam outside Pietermaritzburg for two days of competition.

Quintin van Jaarsveld

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