KwaZulu-Natal open water swimming star Michael McGlynn successfully defended his aQuelle Midmar Mile title on Sunday while Michelle Weber took the women’s title at the Midmar Dam in Howick, also for the second time.
This year’s event saw only 20 elite swimmers in the men’s and women’ categories being allowed to take part in the race due to fears that the event, which normally attracts more than 10,000 swimmers, could be a potential Covid-19 super spreader.
Both the winners took all the race’s hotspots as they led from start to finish.
In the men’s race, McGlynn won in a time of 17:55, ahead of Danie Marais (18.25) and Connor Buck (18:31) who finished second and third respectively.
The KZN-born Weber finished the race with a time of 19:40, beating Tori Earle who came in second putting 19:55 on the clock, while Carli Antonopoulos finished third with a time of 20:12.
Last year’s winner, Robin Kinghorn, finished fourth and congratulated Weber for a “good swim”.
Weber had failed to win the world’s largest open water swim since her previous victory in 2016.
The 24-year-old swimmer was thrilled to conquer this year’s event and hoped that it was a good step towards her dream of booking a spot at the Tokyo Olympic scheduled to start in July.
“I’m really happy with my performance. It’s an Olympic year, so it’s going to be a busy year, and this will give me all the motivation I needed to do well because it’s hard to stay motivated with the country under lockdown,” she said.
“And last year I lost my mother, so it was a hard year and I’m just grateful that I could focus on my training and I could win today.”