Basson swimmers still focussing on their Olympic dream

2020-04-16 06:02
Not having access to a swimming pool during the 35 day Covid-19 lockdown, the Madibaz swimming twins Alard (left) and Alaric Basson had to come up with innovative ways to stay fit.            Photo:FULL STOP COMMUNICATIONS

Not having access to a swimming pool during the 35 day Covid-19 lockdown, the Madibaz swimming twins Alard (left) and Alaric Basson had to come up with innovative ways to stay fit. Photo:FULL STOP COMMUNICATIONS

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THE Uitenhage-based swimming twins Alaric and Alard Basson (24), had been lining up an assault on the South African Olympic trials at this time, but instead find themselves having to come up with innovative ways to stay fit during the 35 day Covid-19 lockdown.

The postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to next year, has had a massive effect on a multitude of athletes, among them the Basson star Madibaz swimmers, who aimed to achieve the qualifying times for the Games. Now they have to reassess the situation in the face of an altered future.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games was scheduled to take place between July 24 to August 9, but owing to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers rescheduled it for July 23 to August 8, 2021.

“It’s easy to say ‘look at the bright side, you have a bit more time to prepare’,” said Alaric. “But the reality is that we, like everyone else, aren’t able to prepare the way we would have liked or the way that was set out for us. Now we are a bit on the back foot and have to completely change our way of training and preparing.”

He acknowledged that it might help those who had pools, but most swimmers were in a similar position during lockdown.

“We are definitely staying positive by tackling what is in front us. Doing what we can. This is not a time for relaxing and laying back.”

Alaric, whose specialty is the breaststroke event, said it would still be challenging for them if the SA trials took place this year, possibly in June.

“It could be a bit difficult seeing that we would not have been in the water for nearly a month. And then I’m not sure if the time that’s left for preparation will be enough because obviously we don’t know how this will affect the way we feel in the water until we eventually get back into a pool.”

An accomplished butterfly exponent, Alard said he was trying to use the break to seriously consider how he would go about achieving his ambitions.

“I understand it has severely impacted on our training but I do feel that this period has given me a lot of time to reflect, visualise and analyse more on various aspects within my sport and my approach.

“My goals haven’t changed. I still want to achieve those and while the physical side has been disrupted my focus has not changed.

“Competing in an Olympics is the dream and it is a goal I have been working towards for most of my life. To get discouraged now because of the situation we find ourselves in, and letting that affect my preparation, I would be doing myself a great injustice,” said Alard.

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