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Nearly full Oanob offers a delight to swimmers in the Pointbreak Openwater Swim

Nearly full Oanob offers a delight to swimmers in the Pointbreak Openwater Swim

Openwater swimmers had a delight of a race in the past weekend’s Pointbreak Openwater Swim at Lake Oanob which is almost full to the brim.

The biggest surprise of the day came from the 5-km race where the women swimmers dominated the men. Ace swimmer, Heleni Stergiadis completed this event in an unbelievable 01:10:19, splashing water in the eyes of the fastest males, Paddy Murphy and Tyrone Kotze, both finishing some seven minutes after Stergiadis in 01:17:04 and 01:17:09 respectively. In fairness, it must be stated that Stergiadis is some twenty years younger than Murphy.

The second fastest woman, Michaela Ohm, also outpaced the third fastest man, Philip Sonntag, by 12 seconds. Ohm completed the swim in 01:27:28 and Sonntag in 01:27:40. Cheryl Young was third among the women at 01:29:23.

The Pointbreak Openwater Swim consisted of a 700 metre swim, a 2.1 kilometre swim and a medium-distance 5 kilometre swim. These distances equate to 14 lengths, 42 lengths, and a heart-stopping 100 lengths in a standard 50-metre Olympic pool.

Yvonne Brinkmann of OTB Sport, the event organiser, said “the Pointbreak Openwater was an excellent testament to the popularity of openwater swimming with more than 250 Namibians entering for this swim ranging from the youngest being 4 years old to the oldest of over 70 years.”

“As people take to enjoying God’s creation directly through exposure to nature, we see the sport of openwater swimming similarly growing as does mountain biking and trail running. Openwater swimming has become one of the biggest growth sports with competitions now happening all over the world,” she said.

Internationally, openwater swim events comprise 3km, 5km and 10km distances. As the sport grows in Namibia, it is the intention to stretch the local distances to conform to the international standards. In the meantime, only the 5km swim qualifies as an official FINA event.

The 2.1km swim for males was won by Corné le Roux in 28:15, with Arkell Wellman second in 28:17 and the 15-year-old Nico Esslinger third in 28:19.

Among the women, Tiana Esslinger was first in 29:19, Vicky Botha second in 29:34 and Maya Stange third in 31:34.

The Male 700m swim was won by Brave Magongo in 12:10, second was Robin Engelhard in 13:43 and third was Lorenzo Du Raan in 13:52.

The Female 700m swim was won by Carissa Esslinger in 13:30, second was Isabella Späth in 14:12 and third Maja Brinkmann in 14:18.

Full results are available at


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Sport Contributor

The Economist does not have a dedicated sport reporter. This designation is used for several contributors who want their sport stories in the Economist. Experience has taught us that companies usually want their sport sponsorships published prominently, being the reason for a sports category. It now also carries general sport items but only those with direct Namibian relevance. - Ed.

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