south africans win midmar mile

It was a day for South African celebrations as Durbanites Robyn Kinghorn and Michael McGlynn raced to first place in the women and men’s titles at the Midmar Mile. It’s the first time in four years that SA has had a double win at the famous Midmar Mile. There were also some proudly South African ‘mermaids’ at the Midmar 8 Mile event in KwaZulu-Natal.

Some of our 8 mile crew coming into the finish! When asked how they felt ‘RELIEVED’ was the resounding answer! aQuellé #midmarmile #8miles #welldone

Posted by aQuellé Midmar Mile on Sunday, February 9, 2020

The four women – Adine Friedman, Nadine Pincus, Vicky Hyland and Marele Moolman – have joined forces to swim for change. Calling themselves #mermaidscapetown – they’re  on a quest to help support rhino and wildlife conservation at Somkhanda Community Game Reserve, and have been raising money for Wildlands Conservation Trust.

And it’s a wrap!!! #mermaidscapetown did it!! We swam all 8 miles at #midmar8mile. Thank you #8mileclub Stanley…

Posted by Adine Friedman on Sunday, February 9, 2020

On Sunday evening, Adine wrote on Facebook: “And it’s a wrap!!! #mermaidscapetown did it!! We swam all 8 miles at #midmar8mile.” Congratulations!

In the main races, South Africans streaked ahead of the international swimmers who have dominated in elite events in recent years. The last double home victory was in 2016.

Both Kinghorn and McGlynn – who are both 20 – mastered the choppy conditions to perfection. They powered to the front of their respective races and could not be caught over the mile-long course.

Women’s Midmar Mile Race Winner

Kinghorn chose a line across the dam that was well to the right of the chasing pack and it proved to work as she stayed in front to reach the finish in 21 minutes 16.

Samantha Randle finished in second place 11 seconds later with Victoria Earle in third in 21:30. 2016 champion Weber was fourth.

Your top 10 in the Women’s Race at the 2020 aQuellé Midmar Mile! #top10 #champions #bestofthebest

Posted by aQuellé Midmar Mile on Sunday, February 9, 2020

‘I’m burning on the inside but I’m extremely happy with my race,’ said 20-year-old Kinghorn afterwards. ‘Everyone today swam their hearts out, I know that. The chop was extremely bad so looking up I did get quite a few waves in my face. I didn’t really know where I was going, so swimming along and seeing the others in a bunch was quite concerning, but I just went for it and put my head down.’

Males’ Midmar Mile Race Winner

The men’s race saw McGlynn also well out in front from the start as he relished the challenge of the rough conditions. Having finished second in last year’s race, the Durban swimmer was determined he’d finish in front this time, reaching the shore in 18min 26sec.

Seven-time champion Ho was second in 19:02 and Henré Louw finished in third spot five seconds later.

Describing how he chose which line to take across the dam, McGlynn said: ‘I decided to just go with what felt right and that was the middle. It changes every year. I just put my head down and went for it.

‘I tried to look back a few times, but you know that saying ‘don’t look back’ – so I just carried on going. I’m a sea swimmer as well so these conditions kind of played into my hands today and it was my day.

‘Maybe if it was flat it would have been under 17 minutes. I was 17:28 last year so in these conditions 18 doesn’t matter – it was just about getting the job done,’ added McGlynn whose brother Chris finished sixth.

Your top 10 men’s race winners for the 47th edition of the aQuellé MidmarMile, it was something special watching you race today! #champions #bestofthebest #swimmingchampions

Posted by aQuellé Midmar Mile on Sunday, February 9, 2020

‘It’s my first win and I’m glad I could do it for South Africa as well. Midmar Mile is very prestigious. My first win, I’m 20 – I’m happy.’

Sources: TeamSA and aQuellé Midmar Mile