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Canada calls for Weber

Already having annexed the national womens’ 5-kilometre open water rising star Michelle Weber’s South African swimming championships will come an end in Durban on Sunday evening, writes Mark Etheridge.

That’s when the 15-year-old swims the third of her events, the 800m freestyle final.

Clearly a star in the making she has finished second in the 400m free (4min 15.91sec) and sixth in the 200m free (2:04.740.

Her 5km win at the Albert Falls venue last weekend wasn’t without some controversy as Paralympic legend Natalie du Toit was disqualified for interfering with Weber’s line and Weber went on to get the win.

But Umhlanga Rocks’ Weber has no woes over that incident. “Yes, I thought she did swim into my line but that’s all over now. I’m not getting into any sort of fight or anything like that.

“I have such respect for Natalie. She’s a great athlete and has done so much for out country already while I’m just starting out on my own career,” she told Road to London 2012 this weekend.

One of the smaller swimmers on the block at 1.65 metres and 57kg, the home-schooled athlete didn’t swim the 10km open water event, won by Du Toit. “Because I was competing in the pool this week, I didn’t do the longer event,” she says.

Next up for Weber, a Commonwealth Youth Games medallist in the 800m event at the Isle of Man last year, will be preparation for the World Junior Open Water championships in Canada in August.

“I think my win last weekend will mean I’ve qualified in my age group but I haven’t heard anything yet,” said the Alisdair Hatfield trained teenager.


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