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01 Sep 2009

Germany’s Britta Kamrau won the women’s leg of the inaugural British Gas Great Scottish Swim in style, completing the one-mile course in a time of 18 minutes 56 seconds.

Germany's Britta Kamrau won the women’s leg of the inaugural British Gas Great Scottish Swim in style, completing the one-mile course in a time of 18 minutes 56 seconds. 

Kamrau was followed by Olympic 10km champion Larisa Ilchenko (18 minutes 58 seconds) in second place and Great Britain's Keri-anne Payne (19 minutes 1 second) in third.

The event is officially the biggest open-water swim in Scotland and marked the first time Ilchenko, Payne and Britain's Cassie Patten had competed against each other since last year’s Beijing Olympics when they finished first, second and third, respectively.

The men’s leg saw Danil Serebrennikov of Russia take top spot, with Germany's Jan Wolfgarten and Scotland's own David Carry in second and third.

The were joined in Strathclyde Country Park loch – the venue for the triathlon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games –  by around 1,000 other swimmers, ranging from champion triathlete Fraser Cartmell to club swimmers, leisure swimmers looking for a new challenge, and a number of charity fundraisers.

The event has also captured the imagination of some personalities including BBC Scotland newsreader and keen swimmer Jackie Bird and self-styled adventurer and Sky Sport’s journalist Julian Crabtree. Crabtree is attempting to swim every wave of each Great Swim.  This totals 48 miles – the equivalent of swimming the English Channel and back.

The event was part of the Great Swim, a series of one-mile, mass-participation events taking place throughout the UK, building upon the success of the Great North Swim, Britain’s biggest open-water swim.

Colin Hill, event director, said: “I would like to thank everyone who took part in the event, including those who cheered the swimmers on from the side of the loch, for making the first British Gas Great Scottish Swim a resounding success.

“The elite field proved beyond any doubt why they are currently at the pinnacle of their sport.  It was also encouraging to see so many other swimmers, many of whom were swimming in the open for the first time, take to the water, too.

“We’re already looking to next year’s event and this gives us a great base to build on.”

“To see such high profile Olympic athletes compete in Scotland’s inaugural mass participation open water swim is just fantastic and Britta and Danil are worthy winners indeed.  The action also made for exciting viewing for spectators and thrilling race for all those taking part; from elite athletes to novice open water swimmers,” said Paul Bush OBE, chief operating officer at EventScotland, the national events agency. 

“Events like the Great Scottish Swim are great drivers for participation and inspire people to get active and take part.  They also generate impressive media coverage which showcases Scotland’s event infrastructure and sensational scenery as well as putting Scotland on the map as a destination for swimming events and competitions.”

Councillor Helen McKenna, convener of environmental services with North Lanarkshire Council, one of the event’s main sponsors, added: “It was great to see so many people having such a good time in Strathclyde Country Park this weekend.

“Our congratulations go to all the winners – and to everyone who took part. Whether they’ve reached a personal goal or raised money for charity, they’ve all really achieved something.

“Strathclyde Loch is the perfect venue for this kind of event, and I look forward to seeing the Great Scottish Swim back here in the future.”

The next event in the Great Swim Series – the Great North Swim – takes place on 12 and 13 September, followed by the Great East Swim on 26 September.


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