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Chad, Natalie in Dubai

Our Olympic swim stars Chad Ho and Natalie du Toit put up courageous performances against the world’s top open water swimmers at the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup held in Dubai at the weekend.

Ho clocked 1hr 45min 07sec to finish 12th in the men’s race, while Du Toit ended 26th in the women’s event in 1:54.19. Time-wise, Du Toit’s performance showed a remarkable improvement from her first 10km race abroad, in which she clocked 2:07.00.

ÔÇ£The race was really tough and the pace over the last two two-kilometre laps was really quick,ÔÇØ said Ho. ÔÇ£Conditions were superb for open water swimming. The water was quite still and flat.ÔÇØ

World champion Thomas Lurz of Germany won the men’s race in 1:44:53, while Brazilian Poliana Okimoto took the women’s race in 1:52:32. Both Lurz and Okimoto are firm favourites to win the overall World Cup titles, with Lurz’s triumph having been the ninth win out of the 12 World Cup events he has competed in this season.

The final leg of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup will be held in Sharjah this week.