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Olympians for Midmar

The stature of the 2010 Halfway Toyota Midmar Mile has been given a big boost with the confirmation that three Olympic Marathon swimming medalists will compete at this year’s epic.

The 2009 female World Open Water Swimmer of the Year, current 10km world champion and defending champion Keri-Anne Payne from Great Britain who will be joined by fellow compatriots and Olympic bronze medalists, David Davies and Cassie Patton, in what is certainly shaping up to be one of the fastest Midmar Mile races in the event’s illustrious 37 years of existence.

SuperSport reports that the powerful British contingent also includes the ever improving Katy Whitfield and experienced Charlotte Wooliscroft, both of whom competed in the 2009 Midmar Mile while the impressive Daniel Fogg and David Carey along with up and coming Tom Allen complete their line up.

This coupled with the experienced German contingent of Nadine Pastor Reichert, Christian Reichert and Alexander Studzinski is sure to lay down the challenge to the local contenders who will certainly have their hands full in what promises to be a fast race.

The local challenge is sure to be headed by defending champion Riaan Schoeman and 2009 world championship 5km bronze medalist Chad Ho, while open water stalwart Shaun Dias, a member of South Africa’s lifesaving team at last year’s World Games in Taiwan, can never be underestimated.

Add multiple champion and Deaflymics star Terence Parkin who will be doing a total of 16 miles over the weekend, former junior Midmar Mile winner Miles Brown, the promising Jay-Cee Thompson, stalwart Jasper Venter, the ever improving Henri Schoeman along with Heerden Herman, Danie Marias, Frank Greef, Chris van der Sande and Tyron Venter and the men’s event certainly promises to be a scintillating affair.

Nadine Pastor Reichert proved to be a thorn in the side in champion Payne in the 2009 edition and is sure to be a major contender in the women’s event while the likes of Patton, Whitfield and Wooliscroft are sure to keep them honest.

The local challenge will be headed by the dynamic Kathryn Meaklim and one of the most promising open water swimming athletes to emerge on the local scene for a long time, Nicol Brits. Add to this the experienced Rene Warnes, Bianca Meyer, Kera Hauptfleisch and Karlien van Heerden, the unheralded Britney Cameron, along with Jenny White, Jessica Roux, Tammy Geyer, Rebecca Newman and Caroline Edwards and the women’s race certainly promises to be one of the most keenly contested races in the event’s illustrious history.

With entries fast approaching the 16,000 ‘cut-off’ mark there has been a surge of online entries while the final seeding events for the 2010 Halfway Toyota Midmar Mile take place over the next fortnight throughout the country.

The final seeding event for the 2010 Halfway Toyota Midmar Mile takes place at the Heia Safari Ranch on the 23rd and 24th January in what has been billed ÔÇ£Gauteng’s cleanest damÔÇØ, at the Heritage Water Festival.


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