Midmar Mile Takes Place in South Africa

PIETERMARITZBURG, South Africa, February 10. KWAZULU Natal's Shaun Dias saved the best for last as he held off a strong challenge from Chad Ho to win the men's title in the 14 to 30 years category, at 35th Halfway Telkom Midmar Mile near Howick today.

After disappointing in last weekend's Telkom SA Open Water Championships held in Elgin, near Cape Town, Dias showed superb rhythm in taking the lead from the start as he set his first aim to reach the 1200m mark.

"I was really disappointed after not winning in Elgin, but this effort should make the national selectors realize just what I am capable of and hopefully they will still keep me in mind for the national team that will compete at the World Open Water Swimming Championships in Seville," said Dias, after winning in 19 min 05 secs. Fellow Durbanite Ho and Hungarian Csaba Gercsak collected silver and bronze in 19:06 and 19:19 respectively. "Today, I knew that I would need to keep something in the tank incase the race went down to a sprint finish, and my stomach was hurting as I used all my energy in heading for the marks with 800 and then 400 meters to go."

Earlier, Hungary's Erika Hajnal took a step closer to her Olympic dream in winning the Midmar Mile title in the 14-30 years category in 20:27, from Pinetown-based Melissa Corfe, who finished three seconds off the pace. Melanie Greyling took third spot in 21:48.

"I have been training hard in the swimming pool as I work towards posting Olympic qualifying times at the Telkom SA National Championships in Durban in April, and the big difference between pool and open water swimming is that there are no ropes or markers to keep a swimmer on a straight course in the dam," said Corfe, who has been among the first three finishers since 2001, having won the title in 2003. "I started on the left and felt good going through the halfway mark even though I wasn't quite sure where the Hungarian was swimming as she was out of my sight. But I drifted to the right hand side during the second half of the race which cost me some valuable time."

Special thanks to Swimming South Africa for contributing this report.

14-30 years: 1 Shaun Dias (Mr Price Seagulls) 19:05, 2 Chad Ho (Kloof, WBHS) 19:06, 3 Csaba Gercsak (HUN) 19:19, 4 Charl van Zyl 19:20, 5 Myles Brown 19:22, 6 Henri Schoeman 19:35, 7 Charlton Lawson 19:53, 9 Pieter du Plessis 21:00, 10 Leith Shankland 21:08
31-40: 1 Ryno Markgraaff 21:33, 2 Byron Dillon 22:50, 3 Steven Hurley 23:46
41-50: 1 Gregg Price 21:34, 2 Michael Semple 22:34, 3 Ross Leach 23:43
51-60: 1 Ted Townsend 25:47, 2 Martin Flekser 26:29, 3 Guy McCormack 26:39
61 and over: 1 Paul Lanterme 28:29, 2 Derek Fyfe 29:16, 3 Peter Egner 29:51
Oldest man to finish: Roy Rees (Johannesburg, 84) 1:00:35

13 and under: 1 Liam Hunt (WBHS) 21:36, 2 Louis Aucamp 21:39, 3 Brandon Murray 22:18

14-30 years: 1 Erika Hajnal (HUN) 20:27, 2 Melissa Corfe (Mr Price Seagulls) 20:30, 3 Melanie Greyling 21:48, 4 Louise Smyth 21:49, 5 Kirsten Mower 21:50, 6 Rene Warnes 21:50, 7 Courtney Mower 21:55, 8 Sharne Franklin 21:59, 9 Alison-Jayne Logan 22:20, 10 Che Fryer 22:41
31-40: 1 Stacey Bowley 21:27, 2 Barbara Bowley 23:26, 3 Heather Morris-Eyton
41-50: 1 Nuala Muir-Cochran 22:22, 2 Connie Mower 24:21, 3 Sandra Dorlas 26:15
51-60: 1 Rita Townsend 25:14, 2 Heather Campbell 25:15, 3 Clair Davie 25:26 (Gau)
61 and over: 1 Anne Jones 30:24, 2 Beth Lordan 33:57, 3 Poppet Nel 37:22
Oldest woman to finish: Lorna Cochran (Benoni, 84) 1:07:09

13 and under: 1 Kira Hauptfleisch (Eunice) 21:27, 2 Kristy Muller 22:50, 3 Zoe Venter 23:20