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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Forward Ho Four Times In A Row At The Midmar Mile

At the start of the race, Troy Prinsloo scouted Chad Ho and checked out his position Ho positioned himself on the far left of the huge pack, in his customary position. "I decided my line at the very last moment," said the 3-time defending champion.

But Ho can read the weather and conditions as well as anyone. While Miles Brown and others lined themselves on the opposite end of the start line, Ho made his way quickly to the front of the pack.

And for good reason, there was R14,800 (US$1,618) available for the winner (hot spot prizes included).

But Prinsloo, himself a two-time winner, knew Ho knew the course well. Right from the start, Prinsloo was right on the feet of Ho. As is hand (Prinsloo) to foot (Ho). Drafting right on the feet of Ho, Prinsloo has been picking up the tactics of the sport quickly since he represented South Africa at the 2012 London Olympics. But today was the Durban native's day: Ho was hauling. He crossed the first 400m hot spot in 4 minutes 24 seconds with Prinsloo and Darian Townsend following.

Ho also took the 800m hot spot in 9:35. Prinsloo made a move as his swim cap started to come off and thunder claps started to be heard. As the blue skies turned to gray, the battle was two-fold. Ho vs. Prinsloo and the entire field vs. Mother Nature. "We need to get everyone off the course before this storm hits the course," said race director Wayne Riddin.

Lightening increasingly flashed off in the distance as the thunder began to be heard constantly. Before the rains started to fall, Prinsloo was as close to Ho as possible. Prinsloo made his presence known as he occasionally taped the feet of the 3-time defending champion. But the race was won at the 1200m hot spot when Ho opened up an ever so slight gap on Prinsloo.

That half-meter lead signaled the finish as Prinsloo and Danie Marais only had 400m to make up the gap. Ho was in the driver's seat with the lead position. He determined the tangent to the finish and the others simply followed. As Prinsloo was the chaser, it was Ho's race to lose. With 200m to go, Ho had finally opened up a 5-second gap. "It was a tough race. I tried to keep up with him," said Prinsloo.

"I was happy with the race," said the smiling Ho after the race. "I will adjust my training now for the upcoming world championships in Barcelona."

The results of the top 5 finishers:

1. Chad Ho 17:57
2. Troy Prinsloo 18:08
3. Danie Marais 18:09
4. Mark Randall 18:33
5. Matthew Meyer 18:55
6. Myles Brown 18:56
7. Henri Schoeman 18:58
8. Darian Townsend 19:01
9. Chris McGlynn 19:05
10. Sebastian Roualt 19:13

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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