South Africa’s top open water swimmers congregated at Albert Falls in KwaZulu natal for the 2012 South African Open Water Swim Champs.
Natalie Du Toit successfully defended her 10 K title in a time of 2 hours 9 minutes. Steers Marina Mile Champ, Jessica Roux came second in 2 hours 10 minutes, proving that she is a prospect for the 2016 Olympics.
The men’s 10 K swim was yet again a neck to neck affair with Troy Prinsloo and the 2010 World 10 K champion Chad Ho matching each other stroke for stroke all the way.
In the end, Prinsloo edged ahead and pulled off a victory by one second, to win the title he shared with Ho last year in Jeffreys Bay.
Steers Marina Mile winner Tyron Venter came 4th.
Controversy marred the 5 k events when South Africa’s most experienced open water swimmer Natalie du Toit was disqualified for unsporting conduct.
However video footage clearly shows that nothing of the sort occurred and that du Toit used her experience and held her line to win the race. It was in face the other swimmer, Michelle Weber who swam into du Toit as she tried to get a better line to the finish.
It is unclear what experience the referee, Peter Pienaar has at officiating events of this nature and whether he is a qualified referee or not.
Contact certainly occurred between the two swimmers in question, but this occurs at events all over the world and referees do not even yellow card the swimmers involved.
Chad Ho won the 5 K mens race after comfortable defeating up and coming open water swimmer Danie Marais.
Troy Prinsloo, Chad Ho and Natalie du Toit will all shift their focus to Portugal where the last Olympic 10 K qualifier will take place in June. This race will be the last roll of the dice for the South African champions to make the starting line up in the 10 K marathon swim at the London Olympic Games.