Port Elizabeth Pearson High School scholar, Ian Venter, has had such a great swimming season this summer that questions are being asked whether he could become the first open water swimmer to hold all major local open water swimming titles.
Venter has already bagged the Nelson Mandela Bay Aquatics (NMBA) 3km swim championships, which took place last weekend, and this weekend will line up for the NMBA 5km Championships. Having already won a 5km race this year, he will start as the firm favourite when he takes too the fresh water at Settlers Dam on Sunday morning. Next weekend he has the opportunity to secure the double at the historic SPAR River Mile Festival with the Hydrassist Double Mile on the Saturday afternoon and the SPAR River Mile on the Sunday afternoon. The following weekend he is entered for the Jendamark Bellbuoy Challenge, a 5km ocean swim from Pollok Beach, for which he is the defending wetsuit category champion.
“Occasionally we see a swimmer come along and dominate and this season this swimmer is young Ian Venter,” said Mike Zoetmulder of Zsports Events NPC, the organisers of all the open water swimming events mentioned above. “Ian is currently undefeated in the aQuellé Ocean Racing Series 1km ocean swim and the NMBA 3km champion. He’s going to be very hard to beat in Sunday’s 5km swim and I would say that he’s definitely got the ability to pull off the River Mile double which Daniel Jones achieved last year.”
“The Jendamark Bellbuoy Challenge is one of the races where anything can happen and whilst Ian won last year’s wetsuit category it’ll be very interesting to see which category he’ll choose this year.”
The River Mile and Bellbuoy Challenge both offer great prize money for the swimmers with a combined prize pool of over R60,000 up for grabs over.
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