Cape Town - Michelle Weber and Robyn Kinghorn have finished seventh and 41st
respectively in the women’s 5km open water swim at FINA’s
World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Thursday.
According to the SASCOC website, formerly from Durban, but now swimming
out of Cape Town, Weber raced to her best ever finish at a world championships as she clocked 59:27.5.
The race was won by the United States' Ashley Twichell, winner of
this year’s Dusi Mile in KwaZulu-Natal, in 59:07.0 with Weber ending
just over a second outside fifth place.
Kinghorn, still a matric pupil in Durban, clocked 1:03:41.5.
Weber, whose sporting feats are made all the remarkable considering
the fact that she had corrective heart surgery a few years back, was
‘I’m very, very happy with my race… I wasn’t expecting to come
seventh but it’s just great to be so close to some of the world's best
’I’m so thankful to everyone who has supporting me, my dad, mom, my siblings and coaches.
‘As for the race itself, well conditions were pretty tough - it was
definitely the choppiest the water’s been throughout the whole
‘There wasn’t a lot of wind but there was more than on the other
days. I had a good line and was actually in the top three at a stage.
‘But I’ still very inexperienced compared to the girls who beat me
but what a nice improvement. Previously I’ve been in positions like
19th, 22nd and 25th so a top 10 is great. I’m still being overwhelmed by
all the love and support around me.
And Weber went on to praise the Hungarian venue.
‘Budapest is just so
beautiful… the whole location and venue. It’s obvious the organisers
have put so much work into making it a success which it definitely is.’
As for Kinghorn, she’s not even 18 and looks a real talent in the making.
‘The experience was really good, I feel like I’m learning more and
more as I race each time, as well as from watching the men’s races.
‘I tried my best to keep up with the leading pack but they got away from me, and I wasn’t able to hang on.
‘Now I’m returning home to work hard towards future goals, now that I know just how hard the competition promises to be.’
Kinghorn writes her matric exams later this year.
‘I now need to go
home and focus on my trials and finals coming up, as well as KZN
championships and a few other galas. Also, when I get home I’ll be
discussing with my coach what he wants from me in terms of bettering my
The future is exciting for these two open water talents when one
considers that at 28, Twichell is eight years older than Weber and more
than 10 years senior to Kinghorn. She’s also the oldest US swimmer to
win a FINA open water title.
Now more than ever, international opportunities must be made
available to the duo in order to gain the experience that only
international competition can give.
Meanwhile in the mixed relay over 5km, South Africa ended 12th with a team of Danie Marais, Chad Ho, Weber and Kinghorn.
They clocked 56:05.3 as France won in 54:05.9 from the USA (54:18.1) and Italy (54:31.0).