The quest for Olympic qualification began yesterday when the SA Open Water Swimming Champs got underway at Marina Martinique in Jeffreys Bay.
The top two swimmers from each 10km race will be eligible for Olympic selection and the first to pencil their names on that list in the mens race were Michael McGlynn and Danie Marais, who won the gold and silver in 1:57:03 and 1:57:36, respectively, while the bronze medal went to Namibia’s Phillip Seidler in 1:58:04.
A pack of eight swimmers developed in the early stages of the race with lots of tactical swimming taking place in perfect conditions at Marina Martinique, a venue regarded by swimmers as being the best in South Africa.
McGlynn eventually broke from the pack, with only Marais able to stay with him, while Seidler had to fight hard to claim the bronze medal.
In the ladies’ 10km race, Michelle Weber (2:07:13) and Robyn Kinghorn (2:08:24) celebrated their well deserved first and second place finishes to add their names to the Olympic Qualification list, with Leigh McMorran in third, clocking 2:10:50.
“I loved being back at the Marina this year. It was some of the best conditions I have swam in,” said Michelle Weber after her race.
I have withdrawn from the 5km on Sunday to focus on training for the Olympic trials in the 10km event.
But all in all it was amazing racing against some of SA’s best female open water swimmers and it’s incredible to watch the younger ones come through. It is also amazing to see how big open water swimming has grown over the years,”
The final team for the Tokyo Olympic Games will be selected by SASCOC, while the FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships team selection will be done by Swimming South Africa.
For live streaming of the event, please follow @SANATOWS2020 on Facebook.
The SA Open Water Swimming Champs conclude today at Marina Martinique. The program is as follows:
Sunday, 8th March 2020:
09h00 – 5km Men
11h00 – 5km Women