Local swimmer wins 10 km event at SA Open Water Swim Champs

Multiple Marina Mile winner Amica de Jager from St Francis Bay is now the official 10 km open water swim champion of South Africa.

Amica won the race at Marina Martinique on Friday at the SA Open Water Swim Champs.

The 22-year-old, who now trains at Tuks, took the race out hard and then settled into her rhythm.

Eventually it came down to a pack of three Pretoria based swimmers on the eighth and final lap, with De Jager powering ahead in the final 100m to edge out her teammates Catherine van Rensburg and Stephanie Houtman.

De Jager finished in a time of 2 hours 9 minutes 20 with Van Rensburg second in 2:09.24 and Houtman taking the bronze in 2:09.35.

“I took it out and I felt like it was quite hard in the beginning but then it definitely slowed down and we were all in a pack,” said an elated De Jager afterwards.

“It was hectic. There were six or eight swimmers in the pack and everyone was just swimming next to each other so it was quite rough for a couple of laps.

But we just hung in there and at the end we managed to break away. It’s great sharing the podium with my teammates,” she added.

“I knew it was going to come down to a sprint, so I was just making sure I had enough left in the tank for that sprint.

“I love swimming at Marina Martinique and regard it as one of the best open water swim venues in the world,” said de Jager.

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In finishing in the top two, De Jager has ensured she’s in the running for selection to compete at the World Swimming Championships in Budapest at the end of June.

“It’s absolutely incredible. It’s one of my ultimate goals to go to world champs so that would be incredible,” she said of the prospect.

“I love what I’m doing and I love open water swimming so my goal is to do my best, have an amazing swim and enjoy it and that’s exactly what I did, so I love it.”

Another Pretoria swimmer Ruan Breytenbach competed in his first 10km open water swim on Saturday and walked away as the new national champion.

Breytenbach has swum 3km and 5km events in the past, but this was his first attempt at the longer, Olympic distance and it paid off. The 19-year-old outduelled Connor Buck in the last lap of the SA Open Water Championships at Marina Martinique, putting in a final sprint to finish in 1 hour 58 minutes and 14.85 seconds with Buck second in 1:58:26.35 and Joshua Ashley coming a distant third in 2:02:09.58.

The SA Open Water Champs were sponsored by Kouga Municipality.

Supplied by Swimming South Africa

Photo: Amica de Jager after winning the 10 km swim. Photo: Swimming South Africa/Nonda Sakelliou

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