SA’s Ayrton Sweeney will be in action against top local and German swimmers when the SA swimming season takes to the pool in Nelspruit this weekend. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/Backpagepix

CAPE TOWN – The 2018 swimming season kicks off with the SA Grand Prix at the Van Riebeeck Park Pool in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, on Saturday and Sunday.

The event is part of Swimming SA’s long-term participant development programme for 2020 and is aimed at providing a high-level competition for SA’s athletes. 

Stiff competition is expected when the best of the country's rising talent go up against the German national youth team, with SA’s Ayrton Sweeney racing against Germany’s Paul Reither in both the 200m freestyle and 200m individual medley.

Erin Gallagher and Germany’s Angelina Kohler will battle it out in the 50 and 100m freestyle as well as the 100m butterfly, while Olympian Michelle Weber and up-and-coming swimmer, Rebecca Meder will add to the highlights of the Grand Prix.

This year’s competition will also feature an Open Water section scheduled on Friday and Saturday at the Longmere Dam, White River, while the swimming finals of the competition will be held on Saturday at 2pm and Sunday from 8.30am.

The second and final leg of the Grand Prix will be held in Stellenbosch from February 16-18. 

African News Agency (ANA)