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PORT ELIZABETH - Paddling and open-water swimming world champions Katie Pocock from New Zealand and Melissa Gorman from Australia will compete in the inaugural Ocean Racing Series World Championships in Port Elizabeth on Easter Saturday (April 3).
The championships - which consists of a 2km swim, 6km paddle and 5km beach run - forms part of the four-day MTN Nelson Mandela Bay Splash Festival, which this year features five international watersports events.
Pocock, who is from Auckland, has represented her country in kayaking, surf lifesaving and ocean paddling. The 24-year-old former surf ski world champion is the current ocean paddling world champion, a title she claimed in the Molokai event in May last year.
Gorman, a 31-year-old from Sydney, surprised Olympic champion Larisa Ilchenko at last August's Fina World Championships in Rome, Italy, to win the 5km open-water title.
In the men's section, the top confirmed entrants are New Zealand's Leyden Tolhurst (run), Australia's Andrew Mosel (paddle) and South Africa's 25km open-water swimming champion Tyron Venter (swim).
On the home front, the names to watch out for are swimmers Michael Marais, Carmel Billson, Lauren Billson and Jessica Roux, runners Marinus Johnson and Liandré Pretorius, and paddler Marc Economou.
The championships kicks off with the World Ocean Swim at 10am, followed by the World Ocean Paddle at 11am and the World Beach Run at noon.
Late entries will be considered. - Sapa