OPEN water swimming star Chad Ho plans to use the Midmar Mile this weekend to prepare for the 18th Fina World Championships later this year.
The 46th edition of the Midmar Mile is scheduled to take place at the Midmar Dam outside Pietermaritzburg on Saturday and Sunday, while the World Championships take place in South Korea in July.
Ho (28), who won gold in the men’s 5 km in the 2015 World Championships, will be looking to do well again on the international stage and he reckons Midmar Mile is the perfect platform to prepare for such a big event ahead.
“I haven’t participated much since last year’s Midmar Mile, it’s been a quiet year for myself, but this year is quite a big one with World Championships coming up in July, so that’s what we are working towards and that’s going to be a nice indicator of how my training is going,” said Ho.
“It will show me where I need to improve, but otherwise it’s just making sure that the body is in good condition to race and stay injury free. So far, I’ve been pretty successful.”
Ho will be looking for title number eight during the Midmar Mile showdown on Sunday. “That eighth title is still eluding me after two years, so even this year the plan is to go and get that eighth win, but we have to see on the day. I know there will be some international and local competition coming out so it’s going to be tough,” he said. “And you don’t know what to expect with the water, so we will see on the day with conditions and how I’m feeling but the goal is definitely to go for that eighth win.”
Ho also said the fact that his winning streak at Midmar Mile had been broken would mean less pressure as a non-defending champion and that would give him a good chance to win.
“I think last year I might have underestimated some people because I beat them previously or maybe I wasn’t as focused as I should have been. This year I’m definitely focused on getting that win but I can only control what I do in the water and not what everybody else does,” he said.