Xavier Beukes

The weekend’s Madibaz Swim Gala provided an excellent marker for Nelson Mandela University swimmers to gauge their current form ahead of several important meets in the next few weeks.

This annual event, which took place at the Newton Park pool on Saturday and Sunday, attracted 150 swimmers who competed over a wide range of distances and disciplines.

When the final ripple had settled, Infinity Swimming Academy emerged as the top club, with the senior victor and victrix ludorum awards going to Robert Hendricks (Royal Swimming Academy) and Connie Peterson (Infinity) respectively.

For Madibaz swimmers Xavier Beukes, Dylan Botha and Abigail Swanepoel, the outing proved more than worthwhile as they continued to work on their conditioning and technique for upcoming events.

Botha and Swanepoel will be competing in the SA Short Course Championships in Somerset West this Saturday and Sunday while Beukes, a butterfly specialist who also swims freestyle, is looking ahead to the University Sport SA gala next month.

Beukes was pleased with his performance at the weekend, having won two silver medals and two bronze medals.

“My best performances came in the 50m butterfly and 50m freestyle races. The weekend gave me an opportunity to put the things I have been practising in training to the test,” he said.

He was able to establish where his weak and strong points were and what he needed to improve on going forward.

Xavier Beukes

Madibaz swimmer Xavier Beukes competes in the Madibaz Swim Gala which took place at the Newton Park pool in Gqeberha at the weekend. Photo: Supplied

One of those points of focus was his endurance in the longer races, though he was pleased with his overall technique.

“That comes down to putting more hours in the pool, so I just have to go out there and keep on grinding.”

Botha’s best efforts came in the 200m individual medley and the 200m breaststroke.

“My performances were a good baseline for this weekend’s short course champs, with the positives being my pacing and aerobic fitness which I feel are up to standard.”

He felt the Madibaz Swim Gala had also set him up for the season in terms of identifying the weaker parts of his swimming.

Strength and carrying his speed into the turns were two aspects he would be working on.

Swanepoel also had her eyes fixed on the weekend’s short course event and the gala provided good preparation, she said.

She had been struggling with illness but her results had given her the confidence boost she needed.

“I would say my 100m butterfly was my best result from the weekend as I was not expecting to be as close to my best time.

“I am excited for what I will be able to do this season, and I have a feeling it will be a good one.”

The awards at the conclusion of the gala were:

Senior victor ludorum: Robert Hendricks (Royal Swimming Academy)
Senior victrix ludorum: Connie Peterson (Infinity Swimming Academy)
Junior victor ludorum: Aiden Green (Bay Eagles)
Junior victrix ludorum: Mienke Kok (Infinity Swimming Academy)
Top club: Infinity Swimming Academy