SA Swimmers dominate the 2008 Gold Coast Mile Soon to break through into gold medal positions!
2008 saw the strongest South African line up in the 4 year history of The Gold Coast Mile.
Among the top contenders were Melissa Corfe, fresh from her best times at Beijing and Shaun Dias, SA Openwater, and one of the world's best international surf swimmers.
Both Shaun and Melissa won their races at the 2008 Midmar Mile, earning selection for the Downunder trip. In addition, the Gold Coast Mile saw a full elite Australian entry. In the woman's Elite Open 1500m, Melissa and Aussie Openwater champion, Kate Brooks-Peterson, dominated the race, pushing three times winner and Olympic swimmer Melissa Gorman back into 4th spot, out of the medals. Melissa Gorman is the only Australian swimmer to win Midmar, in 2007, then beating Melissa Corfe on the run out.
The South African was to taste silver again, and although swimming stroke for stroke, Brooks-Peterson was able to get the inside edge at the last turning buoy, and take the gold medal, winning the first prize trip to swim at Midmar in February 2009.
In the Men's Elite Open 1500m, Shaun timed his final sprint to perfection, getting out of the water inches ahead of Aussie David Browne, only to run wide up the beach, allowing Browne to squeeze himself into first on the line, winning by 0.02 seconds over the 1500metres.
Both South Africans had been training that week with Grant Hackett’s Coach, Dennis Cotterill, who said how impressed he was with the two South Africans. "They can swim in my squad, anytime, mate, Hillsy (Graham Hill, their South African coach) has done a great job with these guys."
Kirsty Bowley, ex South African surf legend, again dominated the 30 - 39 age group, winning her 4th consecutive year.
There is no doubt how tough it is to take on the Australian top swimmers in their own back yard, but the South Africans are on the edge of breaking through into gold medal status.