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South AfricaSouth Africa, RSA
Open water


Further Personal Information

Date of birth
21 June 1990
171 cm
Partner Cassandra Wright, daughter Harley-Janne [2017]
Durban, RSA
Athlete, Student
Higher education
Education - Varsity College: Durban, RSA

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He was first in a swimming pool at age 18 months, and began competing in distance races at age 13.
Why this sport?
"It [learning to swim] was a safety mechanism so that I could play around the pool without my mother having to worry, as my two older sisters were big swimmers. I started as a pool swimmer but one day I took a bet with my coach, that if I did an open water swim I could miss training the next day. From there it just progressed, and I have enjoyed it so much that I have just stuck to it."
Club / Team
Action Swim Academy: South Africa
Name of coach
Graham Hill [national], RSA; Alisdair Hatfield [personal], RSA

General Interest

King of Midmar [for his successes in the Midmar Mile race in South Africa]. (, 08 Feb 2015)
Playing golf, watching television. (, 13 Aug 2015)
Memorable sporting achievement
Competing at the Olympic Games in 2008 and 2016. (, 14 Nov 2017)
Hero / Idol
Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe, US swimmer Michael Phelps. (, 10 Feb 2015;, 30 May 2011)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Persistence is key, training to be an athlete is not easy and it does not just 'come' to you no matter how good you are. You need to stick through the tough times to get to the good times!." (, 14 Nov 2017)
Awards and honours
He has been named South African Swimmer of the Year on four occasions. (, 21 Aug 2016)
Other sports
He has represented South Africa in surf lifesaving. He won two medals at the 2012 World Championships in Adelaide, SA, Australia. (SportsDeskOnline, 18 Nov 2012)
To compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (, 19 Aug 2016)
Other information
In 2009 he became the first South African to win a medal in open water swimming at the world championships by claiming bronze in the 5km in Rome, Italy. In 2015 he became the first South African to win a gold medal in open water swimming at the world championships when he triumphed in the 5km in Kazan, Russian Federation. (, 05 Aug 2015; SportsDeskOnline, 01 Aug 2015;, 25 Jul 2015)

In September 2018 he began serving as a member of Swimming SA Athletes' Committee. (, 05 Sep 2018;, 01 Jul 2016)

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