Howill – Favourite Chad Ho won a fifth consecutive Midmar Mile when he edged out Troyden Prinsloo in one of the closest races in history, while Ashley Twichell clinched the women's crown for a second year running at Midmar Dam, held near Howick, in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands on Sunday.

South African pair Ho and Prinsloo both swam a time of 18

minutes and 18 seconds, but were eventually separated by an eighth (0.08) of a second in what was the 41st edition of the race.

The pair were neck-and-neck throughout the 1.6 kilometres dash, widely regarded as one of the world's largest and most famous open water races, with the 23-year-old continuing his stranglehold on the race that began way back in 2010.

Another local, Myles Brown, was third in a time of 18:43, a second ahead of Danie Marais (18:44), with Christopher Mcglynn (18:45) wrapping up the top five.

Meanwhile, Twichell won a thrilling women's race, edging Keri-Anne Payne by two seconds to take the title for the second consecutive year.

The American, who won the Swim the Swan 10 km race held in Australia recently, continued her recent form when she finished in a time of 19:45 Ä two seconds ahead of seven-time winner Keri-Anne Payne, the 2012 Olympic Games open-water silver-medallist from Great Britain.

Michelle Weber (20:29) was the top South African and ensured the top three was the same as it was in 2013.

Kyna Pereira (20:30) came fourth, while Carmen le Roux (21:08) ended in fifth place. – Sapa