Free State, South Africa – More than 460 swimmers from 42 swimming clubs are braving the Free State cold to participate in the 48th Sasol National Winter Swimming Championship taking place at the Penny Heyns Swimming Pool in Sasolburg from 24 to 29 June 2019. The Sasol National Winter Swimming Championship is a national event, sanctioned by Swimming South Africa and is swum under the rules of Fina, the world body for swimming.
Although the minimum temperatures for Sasolburg are predicted to be below 0oC this week, swimmers can look forward to take the plunge in water of 26oC. This is the only national swimming championship in the country that is swum in winter in an outdoor heated pool.
The Sasol National Winter Swimming Championship has over the years contributed to grant up-and-coming swimmers the opportunity to participate on national level from under the age of nine. A number of these youngsters proceeded to the international stage, returning to South Africa with fists full of gold medals. One of the most prominent names in former results is that of South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock, today Princess Charlene of Monaco, who won her very first medal at the Sasol National Winter Swimming Championship.
Over the years more famous names featured in the event’s record books, including Penny Heyns, Ryk Neethling, Terence Parkin and local swimming hero, Gary Albertyn.
At the 2019 championship, spectators can look forward to participation by the current generation of swimmers like Marizel van Jaarsveld who is currently studying at the Oklahoma Baptist University in the USA, Ivan Beukes (Florida Swimming Club in Johannesburg), Reece Kincaid and Tayla Haslam (Kloof in Durban), Courtney van Biljon (NWU in Potchefstroom), and Jandré Moll (Dynamo Aquatics in Bedfordview).
Apart from the usual trophies and prizes, swimmers up to the age of 12 will for the first time this year compete as Mini Victor and Victrix Ludorum. The junior trophies will be contested from the age of 13 to 16 and the senior trophy will be from 17 years and older.
Heats are swum in the morning with the finals taking place in the afternoon sessions. Entry fees for spectators are R30 for adults and R15 for children 12 and under.
Updates and results can be found on the Sasol National Winter Swimming Championship facebook page or by searching for #SasolSwimChamps on twitter.
The Sasol National Winter Swimming Championship is a yearly event sponsored by Sasol and hosted by the Sasolburg Swimming Club.
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