The Women’s Race Wide Open at Midmar Mile

Sharon van Rouwendaal won’t be defending her Midmar Mile title, and 2022 runner-up Samantha Randle, two-time champ Michelle Weber and Corné van Schalkwyk will be racing Tuks students Carli Antonopoulos (pictured) and Tory Earle for the title. Photo: Action Photo SA

The elite women’s race at the aQuellé Midmar Mile on Sunday could prove to be an intriguing one, with 2023 champion Sharon van Rouwendaal – who recently claimed gold in the 10km and 5km events at the World Champs – not back to defend her title, leaving the race wide open, and no other international competitors in the mix.

Hoping to make her mark this year is Carli Antonopoulos who finished sixth in last year’s race: “It’s always fun being able to race against some international swimmers.”

“We get the opportunity to learn from them, but at the same time, knowing that this year’s Midmar will be won by a South African lady is exciting.”

2024 Midmar Mile Title contender, Carli Antonopoulos

“You can never go into Midmar overly confident. It’s one of the toughest mile races for me as it’s just a straight line and you never know what the conditions will be like. Going in, I know I can rely on the training I’ve done and hopefully put together a good swim on the day.

“I think every elite swimmer hopes to win the Midmar mile at least once so that is definitely a goal of mine. But at the end of the day, if I can just get a really good swim with the correct line, then I’ll be very happy,” added the Tuks student.

Other top contenders in the women’s race include Tory Earle, also straight from the World Championships in Doha.

“I’m feeling pretty good coming into Midmar,” she said. “Honestly, coming right off worlds I don’t have many expectations. I’m doing Midmar because I love this race. It’s always such a vibe, and I always have the best fun, not only racing against my friends, but you’ve just got to love a race organised by Wayne [Riddin – Race Director].

“It’s also my home province and it’s been a while since I raced in KZN, so I’m really excited and looking forward to some fast racing.”

Others to look out for on Sunday will be Samantha Randle, who finished runner-up in 2022, as well as two-time Midmar champion Michelle Weber and Johannesburg swimmer Corné van Schalkwyk, still on the comeback trail after a serious car accident last year.

“I’ve done Midmar since I was six or seven years old so it’s always been the highlight of my year,” said Van Schalkwyk, who claimed the 1,5km title at the final Midmar seeding swim last month. “I love racing Midmar, I love being there – the atmosphere, the people and the dam is so beautiful.”

The aQuellé Midmar Mile takes place at Midmar Dam in KwaZulu-Natal from 8-11 February 2024. 

Entries will still be possible at the dam on race day, but those wishing to enter should allow plenty of time for registration. Also, swimmers are advised that there will be no shuttle service between the finish and start areas, so participants must make their own arrangements to get to the start.

Click here to open the MidMar Mile website for more information


Photo Caption: Sharon van Rouwendaal won’t be defending her Midmar Mile title, and 2022 runner-up Samantha Randle, two-time champ Michelle Weber and Corné van Schalkwyk will be racing Tuks students Carli Antonopoulos (pictured) and Tory Earle for the title. Photo: Action Photo SA

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