Studzinski, dark horse for the Mile

2010-02-13 00:00

WITH a host of international competitors set to test South Africa’s finest at the 37th Halfway Telkom Midmar Mile this weekend, one can expect one or two surprises.

One of the outsiders set to make an impact is the unassuming German, Alexander Studzinski, who has been competing in the Fina Open- Water Swimming Grand Prix in South America over the past two weekends.

On January 31, Studzinski competed in the 57-kilometre race between Santa Fe and Coronda in Argentina where he was among the leaders throughout the event. It was, however, multiple Grand Prix champion Petar Stoychev of Bulgaria, who picked up the pace to claim a comfortable victory in a time of six hours 57 minutes and 59 seconds, with the determined Studzinski claiming the silver a mere six seconds behind.

This past weekend at Hernand­arias-Parana in Argentina, Studzinski again had to settle for second place a mere two seconds behind local favourite Damian Blaum, who completed the grueling 88-kilometre race in an impressive time of 8:23:21. This was Studzinski’s third consecutive second place in the 2010 Fina Open Water Swimming Grand Prix and sees him a comfortable leader in the overall series.

While Studzinski is a specialist marathon swimmer of distances in excess of 10 km, he certainly possesses the turn of speed that could seriously be a threat to some of the more fancied swimmers that will line up for honours at Midmar.

The Halfway Telkom Midmar mile is sure to feel like a sprint for this accomplished athlete, and to his credit he has excelled at the shorter distances, having won numerous titles in the Fina 10 km Marathon Swimming Series, as well as the German 10 km and 25 km titles.

This certainly augurs well for a fast and competitive race at the Midmar Mile when the talented German will line up against his compatriot Christian Reichert, the powerful British contingent that includes Olympic medallist David Davies, the promising Tom Allen, David Carry and Daniel Fogg, along with South African defending champion Riaan Schoeman, Chad Ho and the sensational Heerden Herman competing in his first ever Midmar Mile.

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