Olympic stars set for Halfway Midmar event

2010-01-09 00:00

THE 2010 Halfway Toyota Midmar Mile on February 13 and 14 received a boost on Thursday with the confirmation that three Olympic Marathon Swimming medallists will compete at this year’s event.

The 2009 female World Open Water Swimmer of the Year, current 10 km world champion and defending champion Keri-Anne Payne from Great Britain will be joined by compatriots and Olympic bronze medallists, the dynamic David Davies and evergreen Cassie Patton, in what is shaping up to be one of the fastest Halfway Midmar Mile races in the event’s 38-year history.

The powerful British contingent also includes the ever-improving Katy Whitfield and experienced Charlotte Wooliscroft, both of whom competed in the 2009 Midmar Mile, while the impressive Daniel Fogg and David Carey along with the up-and-coming Tom Allen complete their line-up.

This, coupled with the experienced German contingent of Nadine Pastor Reichert, Christian Reichert and Alexander Studzinski, is sure to lay down the challenge to the local contenders who will certainly have their hands full in what promises to be a fast race.

The local challenge is sure to be headed by defending champion Riaan Schoeman and 2009 world championship five kilometre bronze medallist Chad Ho, while the promising Jay-Cee Thompson, stalwart Jasper Venter, impressive Henri Schoeman, Danie Marias, Frank Greef, Chris van der Sande and Tyron Venter all add to the quality of the event.

Pastor Reichert proved to be a thorn in the side of champion Payne in the 2009 edition and is sure to be a major contender in the women’s event while the likes of Cassie Patton, Katy Whitfield and Charlotte Wooliscroft are sure to keep them honest.

The local challenge will be headed by the dynamic Kathryn Meaklim and one of the most promising open water swimming athletes to emerge on the local scene for a long time, Nicole Brits.

Add to this the experienced Rene Warnes, Bianca Meyer, Kera Hauptfleisch and Karlien van Heerden, the unheralded Britney Cameron, along with Jenny White, Jessica Roux, Tammy Geyer, Rebecca Newman and Caroline Edwards, and the women’s race certainly promises to be one of the most keenly-contested in the Halfway Midmar Mile’s existence.

With entries fast approaching the 16 000 cut-off mark, there has been a surge of online entries while the final seeding events for the 2010 Halfway Midmar Mile take place over the next fortnight throughout SA.

The Mhlatuze Water Mile Swim in Richards Bay takes place tomorrow. Entries will be taken at the start while the Blue Fins 1 000 in Bloemfontein and Ingram’s Ekurhuleni 1 200 in Germiston take place next weekend.

The final seeding event takes place at the picturesque Heia Safari Ranch on January 23 and 24 in what has been billed “Gauteng’s cleanest dam”, at the Heritage Water Festival.

For details and online entries go to: www.midmarmile.co.za.

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