Local swimmer’s quest to qualify for Olympics

2019-11-14 06:00
Ace Madibaz swimmer Alaric Basson who hails from Uitenhage, says the top level of competition he witnessed at the World Championships in South Korea has been an inspiration for his long-term ambitions.                                       Photo:SUPPLIED

Ace Madibaz swimmer Alaric Basson who hails from Uitenhage, says the top level of competition he witnessed at the World Championships in South Korea has been an inspiration for his long-term ambitions. Photo:SUPPLIED

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ACE Madibaz swimmer Alaric Basson says the top level of competition he witnessed at the World Championships in South Korea this year has been an inspiration for his long-term ambitions.

In what he described as “an insane experience”, one of the leading breaststrokers in South Africa became the first student from Nelson Mandela University to compete in an international event of this stature. It led to him being named the university’s Sportsman of the Year.

The biggest lesson from the world champs, Basson said, was learning how to deal with pressure of the most severe kind.

“I saw a number of world records being broken so, really, I was witnessing the fastest swimming the world has ever seen,” said the 23-year-old BTech construction student, who hails from Uitenhage.

“Competing in an event of that nature taught me a lot about handling pressure. I’ve learnt to relax and at the same time, I’ve learnt to just enjoy the moment and enjoy the racing.”

Basson felt this had been one of his most successful years in swimming and his attention was now on carrying the momentum into 2020 and his quest to qualify for the Olympic Games.

Basson said a positive attitude had been one of the key elements to his success this year.

“I was always mindful of the things I put in place to stay positive as I firmly believe in the extreme power of the mind.

“Also, it was about staying true and believing in the work I have put in, as well as trusting the programme and the process.”

He paid special tribute to coach Mark Edge for the role he had played.

“I have to give credit to him as he is extremely dedicated about what he does and never gives up on his swimmers. I would also like to make mention of Madibaz Sport for their constant support.”

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