Swimming South Africa on Tuesday named a group of open water swimming athletes who will participate in Europe during June.
A senior squad comprising of the talented Shaun Dias (KwaZulu-Natal), Tyrone Venter (Central Gauteng Aquatics) and Velia Janse van Rensburg (Eastern Province Aquatics) will depart for France on June 2 where they will compete in a five kilometre race in Bordeaux on Sunday, June 5. This event forms part of the French Cup.
The squad will then move on to Canet in France where they will compete in the Mare Nostrum series pool events on June 7 and 8. Here they will meet up with national open water champion Kenneth Smith (KZN) and the indomnible Terence Parkin (KZN) who will have competed in Barcelona the preceding weekend.
The squad will end their trip in the United Kingdom where they will participate in a marathon swimming festival which will be held at the Royal Albert Docks in London on June 11 and 12.
Smith, Parkin and Venter will compete in the 10km Fina Marathon Swimming Series event, while Shaun Dias will compete in the 3km Junior International and Velia Janse van Rensburg will compete in the 10km British National Open Water Swimming Championships.
The national junior squad will link up with the seniors in London and will compete in the 3km Junior International on the Sunday morning preceding the Fina event.
The squad includes Pieter Swart (NTS), Chad Ho (KZN), Alain Lotriet (FS), Louise Smythe (FS), Gabi Bombadieri (KZN), Demi Drakopolis (KZN), Rae'esha Hendricks (WPA) and Rene Warns (KZN).
A group of promising athletes have been invited to participate, at their own expense at the London festival.
These include master's stalwarts Gregg Price (CGA) and Rachelle Isakov (CGA) along with promising youngsters, Julia Richardson (MPL), Karleen van Heerden (MPL), Nadia Swart (NTS), Carrey-Ann Botha (KZN), James Todd (WPA), Edward Bond (CGA), Michael Meyer (CGA) and Kevin van der Linde (CGA).
The squad will be managed by Neville Smith while Rafiq Bedford is the coach. - Sapa
Swimmers Rise to the Challenge at Nahoon
Jan 10, 2005 - Neville Smith
The Telkom Virgin Active Swim Challenge Series proved to be a resounding success at the Nahoon Dam near East London on Sunday with favorable conditions ensuring that fast times were the order of the day.
An enthusiastic crowd witnessed some of the fastest open water swimming ever recorded in South Africa with stellar performances by Kenneth Smith in the 5km event and Border favorite, Mark Randall.
The talented Randall showed just why he is so highly rated in his speed swimming events when he posted a swift 10:55 for the blue ribbon event of the day, the 1km for Men 14 - 30. The previous best was the 11:43 recorded by Troyden Prinsloo at the Telkom Virgin Active Swim Challenge Series event at the Midmar Dam in December.
Mark Volker headed the field out towards the first buoy with Randall, Smith and Tyron Venter in close attendance. Randall surged going into the turn and accelerated hard down the back section of the course to build a lead that never saw him challenged again during the race.
His effort was clinical and what was even more remarkable is the fact that in open water swimming terms, Randall is a novice. The Swim Challenge Series is only his second open water-swimming event in which he has participated.
Smith was philosophical about his effort. His 11:35 is his best effort of the series, while the same applied to Tyrone Venter who was happy with his 11:49
Earlier former triple national champion, Smith rewrote the domestic record books when he posted the fastest 5km time ever swum at a Swimming South Africa sanctioned event in South Africa. His 54,45 destroyed the previous best that is held jointly by Smith and Shaun Dias of 58,38.
Second placed Tyron Venter with 56,54 was also well under the mark while Jason Page (59,28) and Kyle Main (59,50) also went under the 60-minute mark.
Open water swimming at the 2005 World Aquatics Championships – Men's 10 km
The men's 10 km race at the 2005 World Championships occurred on July 20.
Swimmers tackle Vaal challenge
Johannesburg - The second leg of Swimming South Africa's Open Water Series takes place on Sunday at the Vaal Dam and over 300 swimmers are expected to compete in this popular series.
"We are quite excited as we have a big contingent from Soweto who has entered for this leg of the series. There should be over 100 swimmers from Meadowlands, Soweto and the local township of Eligwa," said Neville Smith, Swimming SA Coordinator of Open Water.
With the top open water swimmers competing in Portugal, Tyron Venter from Tuks, should be on the winner's podium at this event.
Chad Ho, another top open water swimmer, has not entered but could be a late entry on Sunday.
Meanwhile the first event of the series was a success with 155 swimmers competing in the Hazelmere Dam in perfect conditions. Swimmers competed in the 1km, 3km and 10km races.
"We are swimming the 10km race now at these events, because it is an Olympic event and our open water swimmers can now use these events to improve their times and perfect their races. Previously they only had a few events where they could swim in the 10km race," said Smith.
Kenneth Smith, who injured his shoulder in Naples, won the 10km event although he used this event more as a training session. Demi Drakopolous, who is in the senior open water squad, won the 10km event for women.
Ho swam an impressive 3km race and won in 34 minutes 24 seconds, followed by Charl van Zyl and Mark de Swardt.
Kathryn Meaklim won the 3km event for women in a time of 37:20, followed by Lauren Bezuidenhout.
Riaan Schoeman, who recently competed at the World Championships for Juniors in Rio de Janeiro, won the 1km event in a time of 11:15 followed by John Ellis and Ho.
Meaklim also claimed the 1km event in a time of 12:20 followed by Bezuidenhout and Courtney Mower.