Sat | Dec 16, 2017

Olympic medallists coming for Lifespan Open Water Swim

Published:Friday | September 8, 2017 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey

Tunisia's 2012 Olympics 10 kilometres champion, Oussama Mellouli, and American Haley Anderson, a silver medallist in the marathon event at the same Games, have both been confirmed to participate in this year's fifth staging of the Lifespan 007 Open Water Swim meet. The one-day event will be held on September 24 at James Bond Beach in St Mary.

Nigel Bair, Lifespan's marketing manager, told The Gleaner yesterday, that the participation of Mellouli and Anderson will help to ensure more awareness of the championships in Jamaica.

"The reason why we have invited them is because we want to raise the standard of Open Water swimming here," said Bair. He added that no Olympic or World champion has ever been here for Open Water swimming and so the aim is for people to see how they swim and to learn as much as possible from them.

Bair added that he expects over 170 of the country's top open water swimmers to take part in the championships.

"We expect some of the best open water swimmers from Jamaica to participate in the meet. I think that long distance swimming is something that we need to develop here and this meet will help with that development," Bair said.

"You have Open Water swimming in the Cayman Islands, Barbados and in Trinidad and Tobago, but I am not aware of people of this standard being invited," he said.

Bair also pointed out that United States referee Sid Casserley, who officiated in last year's Rio de Janeiro Games will be the top meet official.