There was joy for Kloof swimmer Tory Earle as she claimed her first aQuellé Midmar Mile title, with the event wrapping up at the famous KwaZulu-Natal dam on Sunday, 11 February, 2024.
Despite the rough conditions, the women’s race saw Earle emerging as an early leader, powering to the front along with training partner Carli Antonopoulos, but then managed to open up some distance between them.
Earle reached the finish in a time of 20:49, with Antonopoulos second in 21:14 and two-time Midmar champion Michelle Weber coming in third in 23:09.
“It’s really cool actually. I’ve been doing Midmar for a lot of years now, so it’s really cool to finally win it,” said Earle who was also part of the South African open water team that competed in Doha.
“My plan with Midmar is always put your head down and sprint. I just wanted to get clear of the bunch at the beginning and just go out fast. It’s usually better to sprint and get away from the pack early and then you can sort of catch your breath in the middle and then sprint at the end.”
Antonopoulos admitted afterwards: “I’m not going to lie, it was a tough race. It’s definitely one of the toughest Midmars I’ve done over the past few years.
“It’s always great racing with Tory – we train together so that’s really nice. I saw her ahead of me and I tried to catch her but, her and Midmar – she’s just got this relationship where she just motors through the dam, so I’m really proud of her, and also really happy with my swim as well.”
Also pleased with her performance was third-placed Weber, who had said in the build-up to the race that she wasn’t in competitive form.
“I was so calm and so chilled on the boat and the whole morning and even the whole weekend. I wasn’t even thinking about it – I was thinking if I come in fifth place, I’ll be really happy, so to come top three, I think that’s really awesome,” said the two-time Olympian.
Main Photo Caption: 2024 aQuellé Midmar Mile champion Tory Earle swam to her maiden win, and despite rough conditions, Earle emerging as an early leader, powering to the front along with Carli Antonopoulos and then swimming away to win by 25 seconds, in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday, 11 February, 2024. Photo: Supplied
Photo 2 Caption: The women’s podium’s (from left) Carli Antonopoulos (silver), Tory Earle (gold) and Michelle Weber (bronze), at the finish of the 2024 aQuellé Midmar Mile. Photo: Supplied