South Africa aims high for Glasgow 2015

9 July 2015

The South African swimming team have their eye on the prize at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Swimming World Championships, starting on Monday, 13 July in Glasgow, Scotland.

South African world champion, 24-year-old Kevin Paul, is defending his title in the men’s breaststroke during the tournament. Paul holds that it’s all about having confidence in your preparation and team.

“Confidence is the biggest building block to success,” he said. “I’ve trusted my coaches and the process up until now. A good performance in Glasgow will only confirm that we are on track.”

Team work

Paul has nothing but praise for his teammates. “We have a very motivated squad this year with a mix of guys and girls that have competed on the international stage before.” Paul said. “There are a few that will be competing in their first World Championships as well.”

He said it is a great opportunity for the younger generation to gain this sort of an experience at an international level to continue South Africa’s proud Paralympic legacy.

From Glasgow to Rio de Janeiro

For the athletes participating in Glasgow, it is the last hurdle to next year’s Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Paul sees this competition as the final big step before Rio next year, which he says is “the ultimate goal”.

“We have had a solid year of training and have been working on a lot of new things since I made the move to a new squad and coach at the beginning of last year,” he explained. His coaches, Graham Hill and Dellon Dannhouser, also trained another of South Africa’s medal-winning swimmers, Chad le Clos, who won gold in the 2012 Olympics.

This is the third time Paul is competing in the World Championships.

“I feel that anyone that makes the final will have a good chance of putting together a solid performance,” he observed. “But training in an environment with a strong group of able-bodied swimmers has matured me as a swimmer and I’m looking forward to seeing the result in Glasgow.”

About the competition

There will be over 580 athletes from 70 countries competing in the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships. This is the seventh edition of the competition.

South Africa hosted the event in Durban in 2006. At the end of that competition – 549 athletes from 49 countries took part – Great Britain topped the medals tally with 52.

Source: International Paralympic Committee