South African swimming sensation Natalie du Toit on her way to another comfortable win, but 17-year old challenger Louise Smythe is not content to remain a runner-up for long. Picture courtesy Forever Marketing
The inaugural Telkom SA National Open Water Championships was held at the picturesque Mofam River Lodge near Elgin in the Western Cape over the weekend, and national swimming icon Natalie du Toit showed once again why she is one of the country’s best swimmers.
Featuring a programme including the 10km, 5km and 3km events with a view to open water swimming making its debut at the 2008 Beijing summer Olympic Games, the event attracted a strong international contingent from the British Isles.
In the main event on Sunday, du Toit finished almost 90 second ahead of serious contender Louise Smyth, who finished in second place three seconds ahead of third-placed Yolandi van der Merwe, with the second- to sixth-placed swimmers all coming in a bunch spread out over 35 seconds.
Lisa Cowling finished ahead of second-placed Zoe Venter in a close encounter in the 12-14 age-group 3 kilometre event on Saturday, while Dominique Dryding finished comfortably ahead of Jenny White in the 15-16 age-group event.
Top 17-year old Louise Smythe showed her talent when she finished Saturday’s 3 km event well in front of second-placed Jenske Roukema, in addition to her second-placed finish behind du Toit in Sundays main event.
Results from the 3km event on Day 1 of the Telkom SA National Open Water Championships, held at Elgin, near Cape Town on Saturday:
Girls 12-14 3k Open Water
Name Age Team Finals Time
1. Lisa Cowling, 13 WPA-WP 42:24.96
2. Zoe Venter, 12 Waves-MP 42:42.10
3. Melanie Share, 13 Aquabear-EP 49:00.42
4. Melissa Hemmings, 13 FLOD-CG 50:36.17
Women 15-16 3k Open Water
1. Dominique Dryding, 15 WPA-WP 38:36.11
2. Jenny White, 15 Tuks-NT 41:46.13
3. Deidre van der Merwe, 16 MUST-CG 42:34.59
4. Caroline Edwards, 15 Otters-NW 43:13.11
5. Simone Louw, 15 WPA-WP 43:39.03
6. Rebecca Newman, 15 Pea-EP 43:47.25
Women 17-18 3k Open Water
1. Louise Smyth, 17 Seals-FS 38:31.61
2. Jenske Roukema, 17 WPA-WP 43:53.82
3. Chane Vorster, 18 ESPA-CG 49:35.35
— Sharné Franklin, 17 Seals-FS DNF
Women 19-40 3k Open Water
1. Charlene Welgemoed, 26 ESPA-CG 50:37.70
Women 41-50 3k Open Water
1. Karen Gibson, 46 WHOO-CG 55:17.43
Results from the 5km event on Day 2 of the Telkom SA National Open Water Championships, held at Elgin, near Cape Town on Sunday:
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Behind the scenes proceedings ticked over like clockwork for Team SA as Chef de Mission, Patience Shikwambana, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Phatho Zondi and Head of Media, Bronwyn Roets assembled a successful campaign #SaturdaySmile