World class racing took place at the South African Open Water Swim Champs in Jeffreys Bay over the weekend.
Olympian Michelle Weber from KwaZulu Natal dominated the Champs by winning both the 5 km and the 10 km swims and thereby qualifying to represent South Africa at the World Swimming Champs later in 2019.
The women’s 5 km event has been described as one of the best races that have ever been held at Marina Martinique, which once again showcased itself as a world class open water swim venue.
The 10 Km swim started proceedings and South Africa’s Chad Ho took the lead from the beginning and was only overtaken late in the race by Israeli swimmer Matan Roditi who held on to win the race with fellow Israeli Idan Mordel claiming second position.
Ho ended third with fellow South African Danie Marais coming 4th. Both Ho and Marais qualified for the World Swimming Champs.
South Africa’s Olympian Michelle Weber laid down the law in the 10 Km Women’s swim by breaking from the pack and comfortably winning the swim in a time of 2:05:37 from Abi Meder (2:07:44) with Robin Kinghorn coming third.
The swim of the event was undoubtedly the women’s 5 km event with Weber leading most of the way and local swimmer Amike de Jager staying with her.
Weber dominated throughout and changed the pace of the swim on several occasions before putting the hammer down about 400 m from the finish and then sprinting to victory with massive spectator support for the St Francis Bay based de Jager.
Full results will be published by Swim South Africa while photos of the event can be found at Marina Martinique Swim on Facebook
The Kouga Municipality is a supporter of the SA Open Water Swim Champs, which will return to Jeffreys Bay in 2020 as South Africa’s top swimmers jostle for a qualifying slot in the 10 km swim at next year’s Olympic Games.
“Marina Martinique once again showed why it is regarded as one of the top open water swim venues in the world and with the 10 km swim at the Olympics taking place in salt water, it gives our swimmers the opportunity to race in salt water in the build up to 2020,” said Kouga Municipal Councillor Brenton Williams.
“The standard of swimming at the SA Open Water Swim Champs was incredible and its great to see how a swimmer like Michelle Weber is maturing and she should be a real medal contender at the 2020 Olympic Games,” added Williams.
The next event at Marina Martinique is the Easter Swim Challenge which takes place on 21 April and forms part of the Jeffreys Bay Beach Carnival which will be held on the same weekend.