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Trio vie for top honours
- Updated: November 8, 2011
Three of our national swim sensations Natalie du Toit, Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos will be in a race of a different sort on Saturday as they bid to be crowned Swimmer of the Year at the Telkom Swimming SA Annual Aquatic Awards function in Johannesburg.
The awards evening, sponsored by loyal corporate Telkom SA, is further supported by Sport & Recreation SA, the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, SASCOC and Arena.
With less than a year to the London Olympic Games, the South African aquatic athletes are not only looking for fast times but for recognition of their hard work and dedication to the sport.
Van der Burgh made swimming headlines by winning two bronze medals at this year’s FINA World Championships in Shanghai in the 50 and 100-metre breaststroke events but not before claiming two gold and one bronze medal at the Mare Nostrum Series in June 2011.
Pretoria-based Van der Burgh has established himself as one of the foremost breaststroke swimmers in the world, and returned from the All-Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique with gold medals from the 50 and 100m breaststroke events.
At the All Africa Games in Mozambique, Le Clos was ahead of the pack in most of his races, winning the 200m individual medley, 200m butterfly and the 400m individual medley and taking silver in the 100m butterfly.
At the end of 2010, Le Clos bagged a spectacular gold medal in the 200m butterfly at the 10th FINA World Short Course Championship in Dubai.
Paralympian Natalie du Toit well deserved her nomination as she celebrated gold medals in the 100m backstroke, 200m individual medley and 100m freestyle at the All Africa Games. Du Toit also won the five and 10-kilometre titles at the Telkom SA National Open Water Championships earlier this year.
Van der Burgh, Le Clos and Du Toit will also be in a race with youngster Vanessa Mohr for the Aquatic Personality of the Year award.
The trio are also nominated in the Performance of the Year category, where they are joined by KZN’s open water star Chad Ho.
Other awards up for grabs, to be decided by the selection committee, include Development Club of the Year, Learn to Swim Instructor of the Year, Administrator of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Coach of the Year (Junior Athletes), Coach of the Year, Most Promising Athlete of the Year, Water Polo Player of the Year, Diver of the Year, Synchronised Swimmer of the Year, Open Water Swimmer of the Year, Disabled Swimmer of the Year, Best Performance of the Year and Journalist (Print, Radio and TV) of the Year.