SEVEN-time Olympic medalist Kirsty Coventry ends her sabbatical next weekend when she takes part in the inaugural Troutbeck Mile Open Water Swim in Nyanga.
REPORT BY ALBERT MARUFU
The event, fashioned on the South Africa’s Midmar Mile, would run in conjunction with the triathlon schedule and constitutes two optional distances, the 750m or the 1500m course.
Coventry, who last took to the pool in July at the 2012 London Olympic Games, would be promoting open water swimming in the country.
Her manager, who is also her boyfriend, Tyrone Seward said the race was going to be difficult for Kirsty as it was different from swimming in the pool.
“Kirsty has not been training at all and has been out of the pool for a long time. She is only doing this to help in promoting open swimming in the country. There are two races to be competed in and she will be taking part in the 1 500 metres course. The other race is the 750 metres,” he said.
Seward added that the inaugural open swimming tournament also coincided with the retirement of Felgate.
“Open swimming is different from swimming in the pool. Open swimming involves swimming in the lake where you can’t even see the bottom of the river.
“Moreover, in a pool there are only eight swimmers whereas in open swimming, there can be over 50 contestants. She loves swimming and will be taking part in the event to help in promoting open swimming,” said Seward.
Seward, who prefers to call himself “mukuwasha” however, said this did not mean Kirsty would be coming back to the pool any time soon.
“She is still resting and we do not know when she goes back to compete in her normal races. However, she has not retired as was reported in the press. She only said the London 2012 Olympic Games were her last. She might decide to compete again in the pool, or retire. Once she decides to retire, she will let everyone know,” said Seward.