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Kinghorn looking to bounce back at Midmar

The 2020 aQuellé Midmar Mile champion Robyn Kinghorn is looking to make up for the disappointment of a fifth place last year when she returns to the KwaZulu-Natal dam to take on the 2022 race next month.

The Midmar Mile takes place from 10-13 February and Kinghorn is eager for a return to the podium.

“I always strive to win. So I will definitely put everything into the race and see how I do,” said the Durban swimmer. “However I always ensure that it remains a fun-filled day.”

Thousands of swimmers are expected to flock to Midmar Dam for the event which will be spread across four days, including two days for the charity swims and two for the main events, with all Covid safety measures in place.

While Kinghorn picked the perfect line across the dam in 2020, she went well wide of the pack in the 2021 race and that cost her.

“Last year was not my year but that is what competing is all about, learning from past mistakes and fixing them. I think just focusing on choosing the right line and getting a better start this year will be what I change,” she said.

Like last year, the group of 20 elite female swimmers will start their race from a pontoon rather than on the dam’s edge like in previous editions of the famous race.

“The smaller elite field makes the race quite interesting as you have a better view of where your competitors are during the race,” reckoned Kinghorn. “Having a pontoon start is always exciting as it allows you to get a good dive start and sets up how the rest of the race goes.

“I don’t believe that there is one person that is considered to be the toughest competition, as open water swimming is so versatile with so many factors on the day that can influence position. I feel that nobody should be ruled out as you never know how competitors are feeling on the day,” she added.

The conditions on the dam were significantly choppy when Kinghorn won her title in 2020 and she is hoping for more of the same this year.

“I would like a bit of choppy water this year. I always feel that if you are racing in a dam then choppy conditions are ideal as that’s what makes open water swimming so exciting.”

As for what makes the Midmar Mile such a great event, the 22-year-old added: “For me personally the Midmar Mile has always been special because I associate it with my family and friends. The Midmar Mile is such a unique race that I love being a part of and whether someone can say that they have done it once or they have done it 20 times it is still a wonderful achievement.

“A big thank you to Wayne Riddin and his whole team for all that they do to get the Midmar Mile ready for us to race, as well as thank you to the sponsors that support this event… And a big thanks to my coach Alisdair Hatfield as well as Prime Human Performance Institute who are keeping me fit and ready to race.”

Photo: Supplied