Home Tags Swimming
Despite a rainy Saturday, the 2008 Midmar Mile weekend was a roaring success, with excellent racing, fun and drama, slickly put together into a professional package that kept competitors and spectators well entertained.
It was in South Africa, where he moved from England as a boy, that Lewis Pugh began his ocean swimming love affair. Since then he has completed long-distance swims in all five oceans, including the sub-zero waters of the Arctic and Antarctic - wearing nothing but a speedo.
There was high drama at the world's largest open water swimming event on Sunday when the final race was cancelled due to bad weather - the first time in the Midmar Mile's 34-year history that a race has been called off.
Roland Schoeman gave a sensational display at the Deutsche Ring Aquatics short course competition in Hamburg on the weekend, becoming the first man to break the 21-second barrier in the 50m freestyle.
South African Ryk Neethling dominated the FINA World Cup swimming series, winning 21 gold medals over eight meetings and clinching the overall title - and $50 000 - with a world record 51.52 seconds in the 100m individual medley in New York.
"Nothing I have seen comes anywhere near the Midmar Mile", said Sam Greetham, a member of swimming's world governing body FINA. The 2005 edition of the world's largest open water swimming event saw top performances from the winners, but they weren't the only ones that caught the eye.
South African swimmer Terence Parkin set a new standard at the Melbourne 2005 Deaflympics, becoming the most successful competitor in the history of the Games by winning an astonishing 12 gold medals.
There was no medal for beach volleyballers Gershon Rorich and Colin Pocock at Athens, but by beating highly rated pairings from Greece and Portugal they secured a last 16 place - the first African beach volleyballers to do so. Kirsten Lewis belied her 52nd world ranking to achieve the same result in the archery.
Roland Schoeman won a second medal for South Africa in the swimming pool at the Athens Olympics, picking up silver in the men's 100 metres freestyle. It was oh so close too, as Dutch star Pieter van den Hoogenband successfully defended his title in 48.17 seconds to Schoeman's 48.23.
Roland Schoeman, Lyndon Ferns, Darian Townsend and Ryk Neethling took the four-by-100 metres freestyle relay by storm on Sunday night, beating some of the biggest names in swimming and shattering the world record to take South Africa's first Olympic gold medal since the marathon in Atlanta eight years ago.