Elite Athlete Development Programme Media Release  No: Prime1903

09 April 2019

    Embargo: None

Written by: Nick Tatham


Putz has Tokyo 2020 in his cross-hairs

Durban – With a plethora of medals from national and international competition, intellectually impaired swimmer Aaron Putz says he is willing to swap all of those achievements for a shot at the Tokyo Paralympic Games next year.

Putz, who has been diagnosed with autism, has been swimming since he was twelve years old and has come on in leaps and bounds which has led to his inclusion in the KZN Department of Sport and Recreation-backed Elite Athlete Development Programme.

He continues his rise this week at the National Swimming Championships at the Kings Park Pool in Durban with an eye on working towards Tokyo 2020 qualification.

“We want to keep getting better and this week is vital in terms of him qualifying for Tokyo,” his coach Angela van Heerden said.

“We have to track his times closely and make sure that we are always improving ahead of the big international events later in the year.”

Putz is in for a whirl-wind 2019 as he prepares for the Para World Series in Scotland later this month and then focuses on the INAS World Championships in Brisbane.

Van Heerden and Putz have been putting in the hard yards at Auqazone in Hillcrest and Putz’s coach knows that they will have their work cut out for them.

“Our goal is to try and get Aaron within a second of the Tokyo qualifying time this week,” she explained.

“Aaron is always improving and in the last two-and-a-half years he has continued to beat his life-time bests.

“He keeps working hard but we know that there is so much more work to do if he wants to qualify for Tokyo.

“Out of the pool, the team at Prime and the EADP have been great in giving him his space to train and prepare.”

Putz is currently the country’s top ranked SASAA II male swimmer in the S14 category and won the 2018 award for Sportsman of the Year with a Disability.

For more information visit www.eadp.co.za 

ENDS

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EADP swimmer Aaron Putz is working incredibly hard with his team and at Prime HPI as he lines up qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2020. Supplied/
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