Madibaz artistic swimmer Courtney Musson underlined her potential at the South African artistic swimming championships in Durban last week by returning with one gold medal and five silvers.
Part of the Eastern Cape team, the 24-year-old Nelson Mandela University student was delighted with her results.
“I was extremely happy with how I performed, although I did narrowly miss out on a gold in my technical duet event with my partner Nina Smith (from Port Elizabeth),” said Musson.
“But we were still satisfied with our silver as we have only been swimming together in this category for less than a year.”
Musson said there was plenty of pressure going into the championships.
“I specialise in the individual events, which includes a technical solo category and free solo category,” she explained.
“The technical routines are the most difficult category for the soloist as they incorporate movements that all the athletes have to perform within their routine. We are judged on how well these movements are executed.
“The technical solo was one of my toughest routines that I had to perform at competition.”
Adding to the tense competition was the possibility of making the national team for the World Championships in South Korea in July.
“The SA nationals also served as a platform for final selection for the world event,” added Musson.
“This was the second round of trials we were performing as we had our first trials in December, where I was selected as part of the SA artistic swimming squad.”
Musson acknowledged a number of people who had influenced her career.
“My biggest role model is my coach Moira Norden,” she said. “She is an amazing mentor and was one of the first people to introduce me to the sport.
“Another who played a big role in my career is my mom, Jenny. She has been through every moment with me as a supporter as well as a manager of my national and international teams.”
Musson also recalled the impact former teammate Kerry-Beth Norden had on her career.
“She taught me so much and helped me to cope with the stress of my individual events and how to perform at an international level with confidence.”
Musson’s results at the nationals were:
Solo (free and technical): second in both events
Duet (free and technical): Musson and Smith second in both events
Free combination routine: first (Musson, Smith and Tayla-Jade van Huyssteen, along with seven Western Cape members)