Swimming stars set to prove their form at 41st Midmar Mile

2014-02-07 00:00

THE 41st edition of the aQuelle Midmar Mile takes place this weekend and defending women’s champion Ashley Twichell is going to be tough to beat after she proved her form this past weekend by winning the Swim the Swan 10 km open water event at the Aquatic Super Series in Perth, Australia.

Twichell blew away the competition to record a convincing victory in 2:03,51,27, comfortably clear of five-kilometre world champion and fellow American Haley Anderson, with Australian 15-year-old Chelsea Gubecka in third. Her reward for winning was $17 000 (R189 533).

Two-time winner of the men’s title at the Midmar Mile and double Olympian Troyden Prinsloo finished 18 seconds behind winner Jarrod Poort in a time of 1:54,34,82.

He will have his work cut out to beat four-time defending champion Chad Ho for the men’s title on Sunday, while Myles Brown is a dark horse.

Brown is a previous winner of the boys’ 13-and-under title at the Midmar Mile and has plenty of experience of the event. There is no doubt that he has the pedigree to win, but open water swimming throws up many different challenges to swimming in the pool and in recent years Ho has been by far the best at managing them.

Twichell is unlikely to face a serious challenge from seven-time champion Keri-Anne Payne for the women’s title. The two-time 10-km world champion is swimming for charity this time around, and that means being part of the Eight Mile Club in which swimmers swim every one of the eight mile events that make up the Midmar Mile to raise funds.

Michelle Weber, the top South African in 2013 with a third place finish behind Twichell and Payne, will be in action after undergoing minor heart surgery after the Fina Aquatics Championships in Barcelona last year. While admitting that she is not in peak form, the 2012 youth world champion over five kilometres said she should be in the running for a top five position.

Registration for the 2014 Midmar Mile takes place at the GC Jolliffe Pool in Pine Street, Pietermaritzburg, and ends today. The hours of registration are 10 am to 5 pm. Late entries will also be processed at the Midmar Dam tomorrow and Sunday.

The aQuelle Midmar Mile takes place on February 8-9.

For more information, please visit www.midmarmile.co.za.

Entry confirmation and information about registration is available on the website, along with links to the Midmar Mile on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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