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- Olympic champion’s Epic win, big-hearted women’s triumph
Victories at nationals mean Ho and Weber have a crack at getting to Rio
- Updated: March 9, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
Both Chad Ho and Michelle Weber edged closer to qualifying for the Rio Olympics at the weekend as they won the 10-kilometre events at the SA Open Water Championships in Cape Town.
The two KwaZulu-Natal swimmers needed to end in the top two of the event to book their places at the final Olympic qualifying swim in Setubal, Portugal in June where the final field for the 10km in Rio will be decided.
Ho clocked 1h4 58.27.29 for the swim at Eikenhof Dam near Grabouw. Second was 2012 Olympian Troy Prinslooin 1:58.27.74 with Danie Marais third (1:58.28.88).
‘My main goal was to qualify to go to Portugal which leads to Rio and I achieved that by coming home in first place,’ he told Road to Rio 2016.
‘Only the top two swimmers in the 10km can make it. I swam the race doing just enough to win, And although I did have to change tactics a bit during the race it turned out well.
‘Overall I am happy with my result and onwards and upwards to Portugal in June now. I’m on a week’s break from swimming at the moment then once I am back my coach and I will get into the full swing of things, we’ve discussed what needs to be worked on which we learnt from the Abu Dhabi swim and now it’s all about applying and making things happen.’
Ho wasn’t quite on a week’s break though, and he found time to do his first Cape Town Cycle Tour on Sunday, finishing in just under five hours and earning himself a medal… and two rather sunburnt legs for his troubles.
As for Weber, the Midmar Mile champion clocked 2:10.30.12 and beat Carmen Le Roux, fellow teammate from last year’s world champs in Kazan (2:10.30.62) while Team South Africa swimmer at last year’s African Games in Congo, Charlise Oberholzer, was third (2:10.48.67).
‘I’m extremely happy with my races over the weekend.. I wasn’t fully tapered so I’m very happy with my performances.
The venue as always was phenomenal, water temperature was great, and the weather was also amazing.
‘So now it’s off to Portugal for Olympic trials. My preparation for that is still to be confirmed but it will include a lot of traveling and racing overseas!’