South Africa’s Olympian swimmer Natalie du Toit had a strong swim in the canals of Marina Martinique yesterday to win the 10 K marathon swim at the South African Open Water Swim Championships.

Winner of the Steers Marina Mile, Jessica Roux used her local knowledge of the winding canals and powered to second position in the women’s race.

Chad Ho and Troyden Prinsloo swam neck to neck for 10 K in a great race at Jeffreys Bay. Photo RRAD

“It was an exciting race and it was awesome to see the homeowners cheering us on from the side”, said Natalie. “They certainly helped us to swim a fast race and I want to thank everyone who came and watched the swim”.

Overcast conditions and a stiff east wind had little effect on the swimmers, as did the 19 degree water.

Residents of Marina Martinique lined the banks and cheered on the swimmers from their houses as South Africa’s top open water swimmers powered their way over the 2.5 km loop, which they had to repeat four times.

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Chad Ho, the current World 10 K Champion had a battle royal with Troyden Prinsloo, as they swam next to each other for the entire 10 K.

Prinsloo had to work hard to stay with Ho after feeding, as Chad used his superior knowledge and experience to good effect, opening a slight gap up after each feeding.

Neither swimmer could break and this resulted in an all-out sprint the sprint to the end over the last 300 m. The judges as well as video footage could not determine which swimmer touched first and a tie first place was declared.

Natalie du Toit captured the hearts of J'Bay locals and had huge support during her races. Natalie with Sandile and Wiseman, from Marina Martinique security.

What was even more exciting than the world class swim Ho and Prinsloo delivered is that South Africa now has a second male swimmer who will be a genuine contender in the upcoming World Championships in Shanghai.

The full results were not available at time of publication.

The 5 K event will take place this morning at Marina Martinique.

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