Uitenhage Twins Representing SA at FINA Swimming World Championships in Canada FeaturedWritten by Ryan Swano
After a haul of medals between the two of them at the 12th CANA African Swimming Championships in Bloemforntein held in October, NMMU Madibaz swimmers, 20 year old twins Alard and Alaric Basson from Uitenhage (Eastern Cape) are headed to the 13th FINA Swimming World Championships to be held in Canada from 6 to 11 December 2016.
In Bloemfontein Alaric, a breaststroke specialist won a gold medal in the 100m breaststroke and silver in the 200m event, as well as gold in both the 4x100 mixed and men’s medley relays. Alard took the gold in two relays and bronze medals in the 50m and 100m butterfly event.
The Basson twins got their first taste of international competition when they participated in the Fina World Junior Swimming Championships in Dubai in 2013 and when they travelled to Botswana in 2014 for the Youth African Championships.
In July 2015 when they competed in the World Student Games in Gwanju, South Korea after qualifying at the SA National Aquatic Championships in Durban.
The second-year student-athletes, who are both studying building engineering at NMMU, said they started swimming at an early age. “Our dad saw us in the pool at home and felt we had some talent so he signed us up for the local Dolphin Club,” Alaric said in a press release by Full Stop Communications.
Still yound and building up a steady growth in their competitiveness, the twins are far from having reached their peak potential towards their longer term goals; The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo is beckoning...
Alaric said they always kept their focus on the bigger picture. “All the training can be quite tough, but then you have to look at what your goals are,” he said. “At the moment it is the Worlds but, ultimately, I’m aiming for the 2020 Olympics and my mind-set is always on that prize. To have a chance of achieving something like that, you have to make a lot of sacrifices and you can’t just say you don’t feel like training.”
Alard added “You always have to go the extra mile and push yourself to the limit”.
“I always think of the other guys who are also training, so you have to push yourself even harder to have the edge.”
Last year when on their way to Gwanju, South Korea Alard said in a SwimSA.org article: “Wearing the green and gold has always been my dream since I started swimming, so achieving this is an emotional experience for me,” said Alard.
“It’s always humbling to know that people look up to you for your achievements and see you as a representative of the country,” commented Alaric.
“We both agree that mental preparation is also of the utmost importance to ensure maximum success though,” said Alard. “It’s very easy to lose focus when every day is a routine of aching muscles and early mornings.
“But you have to look forward to what you want to achieve and focus on it with a positive attitude.”
With that attitude, we are sure that the twins Alard & Alaric Basson will continue their rise in the world swimming rankings.