Olympic Champ Sharon van Rouwendaal Wins 50th Edition of Midmar Mile

139 VAN ROUWENDAAL Sharon NED 10 Km Gold Medal Open Water 32nd LEN European Championships Swimming, Diving, Synchro, Open Water Berlin, Germany 2014 Aug.13 th - Aug. 24 th Day01 - Aug. 13 Photo A.Staccioli/Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto
Photo courtesy: A.Staccioli/Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

Olympic Champ Sharon van Rouwendaal Wins 50th Edition of Midmar Mile

Olympic champion Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands picked up the win last weekend at the Midmar Mile race in South Africa.

The men’s race was won for the second straight year by South Africa’s Connor Buck.

The 50th edition of the race was held in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal. It’s regarded as one of the world’s largest open-water races, this year’s competitors list approaching 800 entrants. The event is broken up into eight separate races over two days of competition.

Van Rouwendaal didn’t have an easy time against the mostly South African field. The Rio Olympic gold medalist and silver medalist at the Tokyo Games covered the distance in 18 minutes, 40 seconds. She spent some two weeks in South Africa to train for the event.


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Van Rouwendaal got a push from American Olympian Ashley Twitchell, who finished second  in 18:44.

“I was already challenged in the first 100 or 200m so I thought I need to get out of here and find the position in front and then just control whether people were trying to pass or not,” Van Rouwendaal said in a press release. “Then I think around halfway I turned on my back and I saw there was only one person [close by] and I saw it was Ashley so I knew I had to be careful… when I saw the finish, I thought I’d build it up a little bit to get the win.”

Last year’s winner, Stephanie Houtman, was third in 19:29. Michelle Weber, a two-time Olympian and the only South African female swimmer at the 2016 Olympics, finished 10th in 20:03.

Buck, 20, won the event for the second straight year with a time of 17:39. He was nearly a minute up on runner-up Henre Louw, the national teamer who was briefly at the University of Georgia. Brendan Visser finished third, and American Chad La Tourette took home fifth place overall (and first in the 31-to-40 division) in 18:52.

Also among the notable finishers was two-time Paralympian Alani Ferreira, who went 23:09 to win the visually impaired category. Mike Pengelly, 76, completed his 50th crossing of the Midmar Mile, part of every event since it began in 1974.

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1 year ago

Gefeliciteerd!!! Congratulations. Well done!

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