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OLYMPIC MEDALLISTS GET READY FOR GREAT LONDON SWIM

12 Aug 2009

Olympic medallists Keri-Anne Payne, Cassie Patten and David Davies are just three of the elite athletes set to compete in the inaugural Great London Swim this weekend.

Olympic medallists Keri-Anne Payne, Cassie Patten and David Davies are just three of the elite athletes set to compete in the inaugural Great London Swim this weekend.

Held at The Royal Victoria Dock on Saturday 15 August, swimmers of all abilities will have the rare opportunity to race against a field including Britain’s best open water swimmers, Australia’s Olympic golden girl Stephanie Rice, Olympic Champion Larisa Ilchenko of Russia and Germany’s Olympic medallist Thomas Lurz.

The event, which takes place against the striking urban backdrop of Canary Wharf and The O2 arena, is part of Great Swim, a new series of one mile swims taking place throughout the UK and being broadcast by Channel 4.

Taking its inspiration from the world’s biggest half marathon, the Bupa Great North Run, Great Swim uses the formula of mass participation events to provide a focus and a challenge for which the individual can train.

The Great London Swim is open to those of all abilities – from those who have only swum in pools through to those training for a triathlon.

The event has already captured the imagination of personalities including Capital Radio DJ Roberto, self-styled adventurer and Sky Sports’ journalist Julian Crabtree and Bulgarian Peter Stoychev, the fastest person to swim across the Channel in an impressive 6 hours and 57 minutes.  Sonia O’Sullivan, 5000m Olympic silver medallist and double world cross county champion, and Dr Hilary Jones, GMTV’s resident doctor, have also pledged to take part.

Speaking about the swim, Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, said. “We’re delighted to be welcoming the Great London Swim to the Royal Docks in Newham. This gives the borough the opportunity to show off some of the headway we’ve made with regenerating the area to the thousands of participants”

Event Director Colin Hill commented: “Our vision for Great Swim was to inspire people into trying outdoor swimming for the first time as well having the world’s best competing in the same event. Confirming Britain’s great Olympians into the Great London Swim will hopefully inspire all of those thinking about taking part to sign up and be part of this world class event.”

The Great London Swim is the first event of the 2009 series with The Great Scottish Swim taking place in Strathclyde on 29th August, The Great North Swim taking place in Windermere on 12th and 13th September and concluding with The Great East Swim in Suffolk on 26th September.

Davies will compete as part of a British Gas Swimming Team which goes into London off the back of two legs of the FINA Open Water World Cup in Bulgaria and France. Davies will be joined by Dan Fogg, Charlotte Wooliscroft and Katy Whitfield, who competed at the FINA World Championships in Rome last month, as well as Thomas Allen.

For further information visit www.greatswim.org

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For further details contact Dave Richards, British Swimming Media Manager, on 01509 632237, 0778 992 6136 or email dave.richards@swimming.org

About British Swimming
British Swimming is the National Governing Body for Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo and Open Water in Great Britain.  It is responsible internationally for the high performance representation of the sport. The members of British Swimming are the three Home Countries national governing bodies of England (ASA), Scotland (Scottish ASA) and Wales. (Welsh ASA)  British Swimming seeks to enable its athletes to achieve gold medal success at the Olympics, Paralympics, World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

About British Gas
British Gas, the biggest energy supplier in the country, has the lowest carbon intensity of any of the major UK energy suppliers in terms of tonnes of CO2 emitted per megawatt hour of electricity supplied to customers.  The company is one of the biggest investors in renewable power generation, principally offshore wind. Its recently completed Lynn and Inner Dowsing development, off the Lincolnshire coast, is the UK's largest offshore wind development. British Gas is committed to energy efficiency.  Our Energy Savers Report provides free expert advice on how you can cut energy use in the home and, in turn, save money.  So far, the report has shown over 2 million people how they could make an average saving of £175 a year.  To complete a report go to www.britishgas.co.uk/energy-efficiency/energy-savers-report

About Speedo®
The world’s leading swimwear brand, Speedo® is passionate about life in and around the water, creating revolutionary new technologies, designs and innovations. Supporting swimming from grass-roots through to elite level, including the phenomenal Michael Phelps, Speedo® is owned by Speedo Holdings B.V and distributed in over 170 countries around the world; SPEEDO, the ARROW device, FASTSKIN, LZR PULSE, SPEEDO ENDURANCE, FLIPTURNS, FASTSKINFSII, SPEEDO BIOFUSE, SWYM and LZR RACER are registered trademarks of Speedo Holdings B.V. The LZR RACER suit has worldwide design rights and patents pending.

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