NMMU swimmer Alaric Basson edged twin brother Alard for the Victor Ludorum title when a successful Nedbank Madibaz gala was held at the Newton Park pool in Port Elizabeth at the weekend.
While the Bassons dominated the men’s open events, PEA swimmer Kaylene Corbett confirmed her credentials by being named the Victrix Ludorum in the women’s section.
Another PEA swimmer, Carlo Britz, was the Junior Victor Ludorum, while Fish Eagle Aquatics member Trisha Pollicutt took the Junior Victrix Ludorum.
Pollicut defended the title she won in last year’s inaugural meeting, which Madibaz Sport swimming manager Melinda Goosen said was set to become a permanent fixture on the provincial calendar.
A year ago the gala attracted an entry of 178 swimmers and Goosen said that had grown to over 200 this year.
“The weekend’s gala was another great success with the big increase in entries.”
She said last year’s event took place on the Saturday, while an evening session on the Friday was introduced this time to accommodate a larger field.
The gala produced performances of high quality, said Goosen.
“Many of our top swimmers in Nelson Mandela Bay competed and there was also good competition from entrants who came from George and East London.”
With the gala positioned at the start of the season, she said it gave local swimmers an opportunity to gauge their level of fitness.
“It also gives the university an opportunity to showcase what we have to offer.”
Goosen said the feedback had been positive, especially as the gala catered for swimmers from the U8 age group to open categories.
She said highlights for the Madibaz included the men’s 50m breaststroke clean sweep by the Basson twins, with Alaric getting the better of Alard and Greg Kotze.
Seven-year-old Chloe Watson (PEA), the youngest swimmer at the gala, impressed by taking gold medals in the 50m freestyle and breaststroke events as well as a silver in the backstroke.
The club competition was won by PEA.