The 12th CANA African Open Water Swimming Championships will be held on 23 October at the picturesque Maselspoort Resort, just a short distance from the Free State capital.
The Championship event for Open Water swimming will be the 5km event where 24 contestants will battle it out for the Continental Championship bragging rights.
The South African Open Water team will be represented by four of Mzansi’s leading athletes, who all originate from Kwa Zulu Natal.
Heading the female group will be Rio 2016 Rio Olympian Michelle Weber, who impressed in the 10km Marathon Swimming event at Copacabana during the August spectacle. Weber has matured significantly since her return to the sport from a short illness and is favored to produce a command performance at Maselspoort.
The top male athlete is stalwart Danie Marais, the current South African 5km Champion, a title that he won at the 2016 SA National Open Water Swimming Championships in Grabouw in March. Marais has produced some impressive performances in the pool this past season and the fast Maselspoort course will certainly be a good “hit out” for him to push the boundaries early in the season.
Carman Le Roux and Michael McGlynn will join their illustrious team mates when the field lines up at 11:30 (Men’s 5km event) and 11:35 (Ladies 5km event) on Sunday morning for the culmination of what is shaping up to be an exciting event to be hosted in Mangaung, Free State. Both are accomplished athletes who finished runners up at the 2016 SA National Open Water Swimming Championships.
The organizers are also hosting 5 further recreational events that will enable the Free State Open Water swimming fraternity to participate at a unique event in their Province.
Matters get underway with 4 x 1km events that start at 08:30 on Sunday 23 October. The 1km rectangular course lends itself to some fast swimming and with the number of clubs and schools that have embraced these Championships one hopes that the Open Water swimming fraternity in the Free State and surrounds embrace this opportunity to be part of this historical event.
The day concludes with a 400m fun swim which is aimed at the novice Open Water swimmer who is still getting to grips with this unique discipline. Local Coaches have been encouraged to include the Sunday swim in their weeks work out so as to ensure that swimmers get to experience and joys of Open Water swimming. Medals will be awarded to all finishers.
Entry fees for the 1km races is R100, while the 400m fun swim is at R75.
The program of events is as follows:
- Event 1: 08:30 – Girls 13&under / Ladies 31&over
- Event 2: 09:15 – Boys 13&under / Men 31&over
- Event 3: 10:00 – Ladies 14-30
- Event 4: 10:45 – Men 14-30
- Closed : 11:30 – African OWS Championships Men (5km)
- Closed : 11:35 – African OWS Championships Woman (5km)
- Event 5: 13:15 – 400m Fun Swim