The South African 10 K open water swim champion Troy Prinsloo had an awesome race in Setabul, Portugal on Sunday to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games to be held in London.
Prinsloo had to finish in the top ten, beat fellow South African Chad Ho, who swam for South Africa in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, or be the top finisher from the continent of Africa in the race to qualify for the London Olympics.
The race got off to a slow start for Troy Prinsloo, who was in 15th position overall after lap one. The race in general got off to a slow start but the pace picked up continually with the last two laps of the six lap course being the fastest of the entire 10 K marathon swim.
Prinsloo steadily picked up his pace and by the end of lap four, was in the lead pack and competing neck to neck with the likes of Petar Stoychev, who holds the record for being the fastest man across the English Channel.
Lap five saw eventual race winner Ous Mellouli of Tunisia break from the pack, with only Petar Stoychev managing to stay with him.
South Africa’s Prinsloo kept his composure and swam hard on the last lap to finish in 5th position overall and the opportunity to represent South Africa in the 10 K marathon swim in London 2012.
Chad Ho, the other South African in the race finished in 12th position, and missed out on qualifying for the Olympics.
“I would like to thank everyone for the support given to me me on my quest to qualify for the Olympics. Unfortunately I was unsuccessful this time round. But I would like to congratulate Troy Prinsloo on qualifying for London”, said Ho after the race.