In recent years, South Africa has produced a number of renowned world class swimmers. Among the likes of Ryk Neethling and Roland Schoeman, is a Chinese face that has stepped into the lime light.
With Chinese heritage, Chad Ho was born in Johannesburg in 1990 and attended Westville Boys’ High School. He is one of the fastest open water swimmers in the world and has won numerous medals in local as well as international competitions.
His first Olympic race was at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games held in Beijing where he finished fourth in the 10km test event which qualified him as one of the 24 participants in the Olympic finals. He eventually came away from Beijing with a creditable ninth place.
In 2010, Chad Ho participated in the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup. Even though he only won the sixth meet in Hongkong, he managed to snatch top position for all 8 meets during the series and achieved the largest victory margin of 27 seconds. This secured him as the overall winner for that year, and he was nominated for 2010 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year accolade.
The biggest near-miss moment during his swimming career is probably the 2012 London Olympics. He participated in the qualifier rounds held in Setubal, but unfortunately did not make the cut, achieving twelfth place.
In South Africa, he is the 7-time title holder for the Midmar Mile, an annual open water swimming event held at the Midmar Dam outside Pietermaritzburg. He is also a frequent participant in the Telkom SA National Aquatic Championships in Jeffrey’s Bay, in which he won the silver medal in 2011.
Open water swimming is usually not a sporting event that the South African government sponsors. That is why in 2015, Ho made use of Crowd Funding to raise the money needed to participate in the World Aquatics Championships. There, he swam in the men’s 5km open water event and brought home a gold medal.
Chad Ho is definitely regarded as an iconic South African swimmer on the path to greatness.
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