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Gold medallist Ho focuses on his road to Rio 2016
- Updated: July 27, 2015
By Mark Etheridge
Two days after winning South Africa’s first gold medal at the FINA World Championships, 2008 Olympian swimmer Chad Ho is still pinching himself.
That’s as he prepares to get down to his main business on Monday… and that’s to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics in the 10km open water swim.
Ho headed the field in Saturday’s 5km open water race, winning in 55min 17.6sec to edge out Germany’s Rob Muffels, both credited with the same time.
But that’s history now and Ho has refocused on the job at hand.
‘I feel very good about winning the 5km but in saying that it doesn’t give me a huge boost for the 10km,’ he told Road to Rio 2016. ‘Each race is different and I wouldn’t want to go out there over-confident because of winning the 5km.
‘I’ve had enough time to recover. The 10km was the whole reason I am here, this is the big one for me and my chance at qualifying for the Rio Olympics. This is just a stepping stone to reach my dreams so it is most definitely without a doubt the more “important” race.
‘I do feel very good about the 10km race and if I feel half as good as I did in the water on Saturday I’ll be just fine making top 10 [top 10 qualify automatically for Rio]. I’m not going out there for the win, I just want to make top 10 but if another win or top three comes my way then I will be the happiest Chinaman in the country of Russia!’
Getting back to the 5km race and Ho said he was initially a little nervous to race.
‘Only because I haven’t raced internationally for a while now so you sort of lose what to expect a bit. I didn’t have a specific person or persons as my main competitor/s going into the race.
‘The way I see it is that everyone is competition, anything can happen on race day so I never focus on specific people. The win was definitely a surprise and in fact, I still can’t wrap my head around it!
‘he 5km is more for me to compete for the sake of it, the main goal in mind is the 10km so to get a win is the ultimate best! I obviously do swim my hardest in the 5km and there is always a part of a person that wants to win, that’s the foundation of being a competitor so I do take it seriously but just not as much as the 10km.’