PR 48 - Best open water swimmers attend 10km Marathon Swimming Test Event

2011

Lausanne (SUI), August 12, 2011 – The public will get a chance to watch world class swimmers including a number of World and Olympic medallists at the London 10km Marathon Swimming International in Hyde Park this Saturday, August 13, part of the “London Prepares Series” and a Test Event for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The competition, free for anyone to watch, takes place in the Serpentine inside Hyde Park and will feature some of the world's best marathon swimmers including the bronze medallist from Beijing 2008, German Thomas Lurz and the 10km gold medallist from the recent FINA World Championships in Shanghai, Spyridon Gianniotis (GRE).

In the women's race, the silver and bronze medallists from Shanghai, Martina Grimaldi (ITA) and Marianna Lymperta (GRE) come into the race as favourites.

On this Test Event, the FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione commented: "FINA is extremely pleased to organise, in co-operation with LOCOG, the Marathon Swimming Test Event, in the beautiful Hyde Park lake. I am sure that all Swimmers, Coaches and Officials will enjoy very much this event, and will be able to collect the best possible information for an optimal organisation of the Olympic 10km Marathon Swimming event, next year in London. I would like to express our gratitude to the IOC and LOCOG and ensure FINA's full collaboration in the future, namely in the Olympic preparation of our remaining aquatic disciplines: Swimming, Diving, Water Polo and Synchronised Swimming."

David Luckes, Head of Sport Competition at LOCOG said of the event: "The London 10km Marathon Swimming International will be used to test the Marathon Swimming course in Hyde Park as well as many of LOCOG's operations. We are delighted to be able to run such an event with a high level of international athletes and look forward to giving the public an opportunity to witness world class sport for free this weekend."

Public wishing to watch the event can do so from the edge of the Serpentine, with some of the best views being on the north side. 38 competitors will line up on Saturday to tackle six laps of the 1.67km course. The women's race starts at 10am and the men's race starts at 2pm.