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Ho ends 19th in 10km open water as SA men’s waterpolo side beat Argentina
- Updated: July 27, 2015
By Mark Etheridge
South Africa’s Chad Ho was unable to emulate his gold medal-winning endeavours of Saturday when he ended 19th in the 10-kilometre open water swim at the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia on Monday.
On Saturday, Ho had won the 5km final in a photo-finish from Germany’s Rob Muffels.
But Monday saw him slowly fading back and after he had been placed 15th at the first split, he was placed 17th and 20th at the next two timing splits before he pulled one spot back in the final stages to be timed at 1hr 50min 47.94sec.
South Africa’s other entrant, Danie Marais, failed to finish the event, withdrawing after the halfway after sliding backwards from 21st at the first split.
The race was won by American Jordan Wilimovsky in 1:49:48.2 who was a healthy 12.1sec clear of Dutchman Ferry Weertman and Greece’s Spyridon Gianniotis (1:50.00.7).
While something of a setback for Ho’s 2016 Olympic qualification charges he’ll still get another chance at next year’s Olympic qualification race in Setubal, Pretoria. Had he ended in the top 10 on Monday he would have been an automatic qualifier, SA’s Olympic governing body SASCOC having the final discretion.
Meanwhile there was good news for South African water-polo side as they won their opening Group C preliminary round match 10-6 against Argentina.
Captain Pierre le Roux’s men raced out to a 10-6 lead in the first quarter but the South Americans slowly clawed their way back into the clash. At halftime it was 7-4 and at the start of the final quarter it was 8-5. Argentina pulled to within two goals of the South Africans but two late goals, the final one 39sec before the hooter saw the white-capped SA outfit home.
Brothers Pierre and Etienne le Roux shared the goal-scoring honours with three apiece and there were also goals from Devon Card, Nick Hock, Jon Marc de Carvalho and Ignardus Badenhorst
Next up for the South Africans, the only amateur side at the championships, is a clash against the mighty Hungarians, defending world champions, on Wednesday.
The victory against Argentina, all but ensures a top 12 finish and a best result for SA at the FINA World Championships and possible entry to the Rio Olympics.
Skipper Pierre le Roux, told Road to Rio 2016: ‘We are ecstatic with the win and a team goal has been achieved. Now to enjoy the rest of the tournament and learn from the best in the world.’
Tuesday will see the women’s open water 10km swim where she’ll be joined by Carmen le Roux. Again a top 10 finish will be what both girls are gunning for.