Nelson Mandela University swimmer, Alaric Basson’s dream of competing in the Olympics in 2020, is slowly becoming a reality. He is part of the strong SA team that competed at the World Aquatics Championships in South Korea.
The 23-year-old Uitenhage based star has made his first appearance for South Africa at this level and has taken the opportunity to test his skill against the best in the world.
Qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is high on Basson’s priority list.
The Basson twins Alaric and Alard, joined the Nelson Mandela University swimming family, known as “Madibaz,” four years ago and it has been an absolute revelation.
Alaric’s selection for the national side to the World Championships has been a major highlight for the club, despite not winning a medal.
The World Aquatics Championship is a major event on the swimming calendar. Olympic swimmers such as Chad le Clos, Adam Peaty and Caleb Dressel participate in the championship to prepare for their participation in the Olympics.
Alaric is ranked 25th in the World and has taken full advantage of competing in Europe. He says that participating in the World Aquatics Championship was an amazing experience.
“It’s been an amazing experience this year and, despite not winning a medal, I have done well for my country and competing against top swimmers in my category. It has been a blessing for me as an athlete. There is still a lot of time to improve such as my speed, but I am getting there slowly.”
Alard specialises in 100 metres and 200 metres butterfly.
His next focus is the SA Short Course swimming event in Pietermaritzburg in August. He hopes to reclaim his form in butterfly and remains positive.
“This year has been disappointing, but I still do believe in myself. When my brother was away, I did put on extra yards to improve my technique. But in my category, the competition is very stiff but next year, I am hoping for better things to come.”
The Basson brothers will also take part in the African Games in Morocco; another big event on the swimming calendar on the African continent. Most swimmers are set to use such an event to improve their qualifying times for the Olympics.
SASCOC will host trials in April 2020 to select swimmers to represent the country in Tokyo.