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Swimmers to make a splash in Shrewsbury Severn race

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

About 200 swimmers will brave the River Severn in Shrewsbury on Sunday as they take part in an annual open water race.

About 200 swimmers will brave the River Severn in Shrewsbury on Sunday as they take part in an annual open water race.

The Severn Mile event, which has been organised by Shrewsbury Masters Swimming Club, will see participants swimming from the Welsh Bridge to Kingsland Bridge, finishing at the Pengwern Boathouse. Courses of either 700 metres or 1,500 metres in length will be open to competitors.

The race starts at about 11am and spectators are being encouraged to come and watch the exertions of the swimmers from the Quarry.

Organiser Chris Myles said the race has grown hugely since it begun five years ago.

"We set a limit of 200 people this time because last year we just got swamped," he said. "We had 230 registered, although quite a few didn't turn up. It has just grown every year – five years ago there was 13 of us."

This year swimmers are coming from all over the country to take part in the event, including London and Norwich.

Mr Myles said open-water swimming has grown in popularity since it was introduced as an Olympic sport at the Beijing Games in 2008.

He said the event will be carefully marshalled to ensure the safety of everyone taking part adding that competitors are likely to have plenty of support from the riverbanks."In the last couple of years, it has been quite good," he said.

Mr Myles said organisers would monitor the weather to decide whether Sunday's swim would go ahead. He said: "We keep a close eye on water levels at the Welsh Bridge. Some of the swimmers this year were meant to take part in the Great North Swim, which was cancelled due to bad weather."

By Chris Burn

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