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Fresh & Hungry: Martin Christian Johann Binedell

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Martin Binedell is really a young swimming star  to watch out for. Stable, dedicated, and wise,  and on top of being a multiple gold medallist he is a great academic too, having passed matric with 6 distinctions! He has this to say “I love swimming, I love being in the water, I love pushing my body to its breaking point and the feeling you get after doing so. I’d like to give back to a sport that has already giving me so much, to inspire the next generation of South African swimmers to strive for greatness, both in and out the sports arena”.


Athlete: Bio / Stats
Name & Surname Martin Christian Johann Binedell
Nick Name Maat1
Date of birth 30 July 1995
Place of birth Pietermaritzburg, KZN
Current City Westville, KZN
Height 186cm
Weight 86kg
Shoe Size 11/12
Club Seagulls Swimming Club
Coach’s Name Graham Hill
Out of Country events/ meets World Student Games Gwangju South Korea,

All African Games Congo,go,African Games Congo, Korea,

World Cup Swim Series Doha and Dubai

Favorite City Monte Carlo, Monaco
Favorite Song/ type of music I love all genres and styles of music, if I had to pick one then Deep House
Favorite Movie Focus, Will Smith
Tertiary Inst Name/ Year Varsity College
Tertiary degree/ diploma Bcom Marketing
Sponsors Speedo, CytoSport





Martin Christian Johann Binedell

Parents Names, siblings Parents: Johan and Marlene Binedell

Sister: Larah Binedell



Q: You are one of SA’s top athletes, passionate and doing so well in your Swimming  tell me a little bit about how you started in swimming and your journey in the swimming arena up to now?

I started swimming when I was 11 for the simple reason of losing weight. I only started performing in high school and when I was 16, broke the SA age group record for 200 backstroke. Although my swimming took a dip in matric, I’ve found my rhythm and stroke again.

Q: Who are you?

I see myself as a very laid back kind of guy, I’m at my happiest when I’m surrounded by friends and family. I believe you should treat others the way you expect others to treat you.

Q: What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in Swimming and what is your greatest personal accomplishment?

My highest swimming achievements are winning gold at SA Nationals,  African Games and SA Short course in 2015. My highest personal achievements are those attained at high school, 1st team Waterpolo, swimming Capt and getting 6 A’s in Matric.

Q: You competed and did so well at the African Games in Brazzaville last year –  Congrats! How did you experience that?

Thank you, African Games, much like my experiences with zone 6 and AUSC games, were a reminder of how far South Africa has come in terms of sporting excellence. When compared to nations like Congo and Zambia you tend to appreciate home, although I must commend Congo on their infrastructure, something about the semi transparent aquatic centre with an open African sun and surroundings made for an awesome atmosphere.

Q: In your opinion, what is the value of Education in a young person’s life?

Education is vital, I grew up with the philosophy of a healthy body isn’t complete without a healthy mind. A lot of athletes forget there is a life after sport and the beauty of sport is that it opens doors, weather they lead to a better education or the opportunity of travelling.


Q: Would you like to share a little bit more about your faith journey?

I believe everything happens for a reason, when I was young, I almost drowned on a family outing to the dam which forced my parents to take me to swimming lessons, I always found that ironic but throughout my swimming career, all the major turning points were lead by a seemingly negative or (at the time) a setback but that to me just proves that, not only were those setbacks part of Gods plan for me, they were his way of molding me into the person I am today

Q: What do you do to relax?

Music, or a game of Fifa

Q: What is your personal favourite motivational quote?

Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve- Napoleon Hill

Q: What is your favourite Bible quote?

Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

Q: What is your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge at the moment is recovering from a fractured elbow. All I can do is rest and focus on strengthening both my legs, and my faith.

Q: In your opinion, how do you define success in life / how do you define a successful person?

I define success by happiness, health, good faith and personal satisfaction. A successful person is someone who is confident in his/her abilities and aspirations but focused in attaining them.


Q: What is your message of encouragement to South African and African youth and our  nation?

My message would be, forget about the things in life you can’t control  and focus on the thing you can, work hard, be humble and leave the rest to God, because everything happens for a reason

Q: Plans and upcoming major meets before Rio?

For now my main focus recovering and building up momentum before Olympic trials (Nationals) in April, through some more solid training and a decent meet in Stellenbosch

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

Just to say thank you for this opportunity and to also thank everyone that has helped me through this journey thus far, my family and coaches, also my sponsors Speedo SA and Cytosport. Lastly to Varsity College.


Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best for your journey ahead. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!

NB – All images were supplied by the athlete to Heslop Sports. If there are any images that are not credited correctly, please email info@heslopsports.co.za with the details and we will gladly do so immediately.

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