The official Olympic trial for the 10 km marathon swim, set to take place at the Olympic Games later this year, will take to the water at Marina Martinique this weekend.
Due to Covid regulations, no spectators will be allowed at the event.
The 2021 Open Water Champs doubles up as the official Olympic Trials, as well as qualification for the 5th FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships, which will be held in the Seychelles from 22nd to 24th August.
The top two swimmers from the men’s and women’s 10km race will be eligible for national selection, while in the Juniors’ section, the top two athletes in the 5, 7.5 and 10km events from the relevant age groups (14-15, 16-17 and 18-19) will be considered.
Marina Martinique is considered as the open water swim capital of Africa with the salt water canals being protected from the ocean which means that there are no tidal considerations for the swimmers, nor do they have to worry about wildlife.
Current defending champions, Michael McGlynn and Michelle Weber will lead the charge in their respective 10km races, with McGlynn expecting to face strong competition from the Western Cape’s Danie Marais, Namibia’s Phillip Seidler, Gauteng’s Henre Louw (the current Marina Mile champ) along with the KZN duo of Joshua Ashley and Connor Buck.
McGlynn, Seidler and Louw, will also take to the water in the 5km event where they are sure to have an exciting tussle with KZN’s pedigreed Nathan Hughes, who claimed the 2019 European Junior Open Water Swimming Championship 10km title, swimming under the flag of Great Britain.
Weber will be up against the Eastern Cape’s Amica de Jager and KZN’s Robyn Kinghorn, while the promising AG’s Leigh McMorran cannot be discounted after her stellar performance in the 2020 10km edition where she claimed the youth podium finish.
De Jager will also swim in the women’s 5km race where the KZN trio of Sasha Lee Corris, Tatum Botha and Tori Earle are sure to keep her busy.
Friday, 19th March 2021:
09h00 – 10km Men
09h05 – 10km Women
13h30 – 3km Men
13h30 – 3km Men Multi Disability
Saturday, 20th March 2021:
09h00 – 7.5km Men
09h05 – 7.5km Women
13h30 – 3km Women
13h30 – 3km Women Multi Disability
15h00 – 4 x 1.25km Mixed Relay
Sunday, 21st March 2021:
09h00 – 5km Men
09h00 – 5km Men Multi Disability
11h00 – 5km Women
11h00 – 5km Women Multi Disability