Swimmers lay claim to represent SA

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Up and coming athletes raised the bar to impress selectors for a Team South Africa squad that will represent the country at the 5th Fina World Open Water Swimming Championships in Seville, Spain, in the first week of May.

South Africa's premier open water swimming series, The Swim Challenge Series 2007/08, was held at the Hazelmere Dam near Durban on Sunday.

The performances were of an excellent standard and saw a number of up and coming athletes put their hands up for inclusion into the national open water swimming squads that will be announced later.

This after the SA National Open Water Swimming Championships at the Mofam River Lodge near Elgin on February 2 and 3.

The 3km event proved to be one of the closest events in the short history of The Swim Challenge Series with 18-year-old Mark de Swart (Westville) doing enough to convince the judges that he should be declared the winner over the explosive Danie Marais (Cape Dolphins).

In the 5km women's event Natalie du Toit (Vineyards) proved she is still the champ when she secured a solid victory ahead of Velia Janse van Rensburg (Aquabears).

The men's event saw the determined Abdul-Malik Railoun (UWC) claim his first 5km victory in The Swim Challenge Series with an excellent 1:03:48 which certainly augurs well for the future.