World rated Ho tied at SA Champs in 5 km open water

2010-04-12 00:00

TROYDEN Prinsloo gave world championship bronze medallist Chad Ho a tough time in the 5 km Telkom SA Open Water Swimming Championships that ended at Midmar Dam yesterday.

Prinsloo, the leading 1 500 m freestyle swimmer in the country, opted to compete in the 5 km event before the pool championships start today despite having been ill since January. The Georgia-based swimmer only arrived in the country on Thursday.

Ho, the 5 km bronze medallist at the world championships in Rome last year, has had it easy until now. Prinsloo swam a well-calculated race as both swimmers matched each other over the two-lap course, and it went down to a photo finish ,where the result was eventually declared a dead-heat.

“I was told that I had won as I came out the water,” said former Midmar Mile winner Prinsloo. “I also thought I had made it, but I am just pleased to have had a good result here with my 1 500 m freestyle at the end of the week. I am a little stiff but it should ease up by the weekend.”

The fact that Prinsloo managed to hold off the more experienced Ho might have an impact on the World Open Water Champs later this year, where South Africa could have two contenders. Third place went to Michael Marais.

Among the women, Natalie du Toit took top honours, while young, second- placed Nicole Britz showed she has the potential to improve further.

On Saturday, a small field took to the water for the 10 km event, where Ho won ahead of Tyrone Venter and Marais. Times were slow due to choppy conditions. Among the women, Du Toit was a clear winner ahead of Britz.

Hopefully the decisionmakers will realise the insanity of holding the 5 km and 10 km open water swimming events prior to the pool events, and avoid this in future.

Competition breeds success and the result between Prinsloo and Ho is an example of what happens when you get tougher competition.

It was reported earlier that the pool events would have the heats taking place at 10 am each morning and the finals at 6 pm. In fact, news at the pool now has the heats at 9.30 am despite the original documentation.

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