Chad Ho and Natalie du Toit both won the 5K open water swim at the 2008 African Swimming Championships in Johannesburg, South Africa this weekend.
In a highly anticipated showdown between the top African continental open water swimmers, Chad easily beat Egypt’s Mazen Aziz 58:39 to 1:00.56 in the 5K course in Germiston Lake.
Mazen had performed very well on the FINA World Cup circuit this year, including a win in Traversee Internacionale du Lac St-Jean, but he did not have it yesterday after a very long 2008 season. "It's been a long year of swimming," agreed Chad. "I will take a short break before focusing on my preparations towards next year's FINA World Championships to be held in Rome, Italy."
Fellow Olympian 10K’er Natalie du Toit similarly won the women’s race in 1:04:01 over South African teammate, Dominique Dryding (1:06.43) and Tunisia's Sarra Lajnef (1:10.08).
Natalie said, "The water was warm which made for great swimming conditions and I really enjoyed the swim, considering I hadn't put in the mileage that I would normally have clocked ahead of an event of this nature."
Information provided by Swimming South Africa.
Photo of Natalie at the 2007 Sabrina Love Ocean Challenge.
Both Chad and Natalie are nominees for the 2008 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year and World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year awards.