SA swim sensations Natalie du Toit, Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos will be in a race of a different sort, as they strive to be crowned Swimmer of the Year at the Telkom Swimming SA Annual Aquatic Awards function, to be held at the Southern Sun OR Tambo International Airport near Johannesburg, on Saturday, November 12.

Natalie du Toit signing authographs for the J Bay swimmers

The awards evening, sponsored by loyal corporate Telkom SA, is further supported by Sport & Recreation SA, the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, SASCOC and Arena.

With less than a year to the London Olympic Games, the South African aquatic athletes are not only looking for fast times but for recognition of their hard work and dedication to the sport.

Van der Burgh made swimming headlines by winning two bronze medals at this year’s FINA World Championships in Shanghai in the 50 and 100m breaststroke events but not before claiming two gold and one bronze medal at the Mare Nostrum Series in June 2011.

Pretoria-based Van der Burgh established himself as one of the foremost breaststroke swimmers in the world, and returned from the All-Africa Games with gold medals from the 50 and 100 metres breaststroke events.

At the All Africa Games in Mozambique, Chad le Clos was ahead of the pack in most of his races, winning the 200m individual medley, 200m butterfly and the 400m individual medley and taking silver in the 100m butterfly.

At the end of 2010, Le Clos bagged a spectacular gold medal in the 200m butterfly at the 10th FINA World Short Course Championship in Dubai.

Paralympian Natalie du Toit well deserved her nomination as she celebrated gold medals in the 100m backstroke, 200m individual medley and 100m freestyle at the All Africa Games. Du Toit also won the 5 and 10km titles at the Telkom SA National Open Water Championships earlier this year.

Van der Burgh, Le Clos and Du Toit will also be in a race with youngster Vanessa Mohr for the Aquatic Personality of the Year award.

The trio are also nominated in the Performance of the Year category, where they are joined by KZN’s open water star Chad Ho.

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