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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Struggle To Conquer The Huge Waves In The Yangtze

One of the world's top 100 open water swims is offering excellent prize money this summer.

A competition in one of the world's mightiest rivers awaits an international field at the 2013 International Challenge of Swimming Across the Yangtze River. The 1.8 km race on July 16th in Wuhan, China is organized by the Wuhan Swim Association.

The race is held under FINA rules with two different start and finish points depending on the speed of the swimmers. Swimmers must be able to complete a 400m swim in a pool under 6 minutes. There is an age restriction: only swimmers between the ages of 14 and 45 are allowed (those born after January 1st, 1968 and before January 1st, 1999).

In addition to the mystique of competing in the great Yangtze River, there is the allure of prize money for the top 20 finishers: US$10,000 for first, US$6,000 for second, US$3,000 for third, US$1,000 for finishers fourth to tenth, US$500 for finishers eleventh to sixteenth winners with the money paid in Chinese RMB depending on the exchange rate published by the Bank of China.

To register for the International Challenge of Swimming Across the Yangtze River, an application form with a passport copy must be received by the Wuhan Swimming Association before June 10th, 2013 via email (475380119@qq.com). Swimmers should check into the designated hotel by July 14th in Wuhan as accommodations and ground transportation in Wuhan will be provided by the committee between July 14th and July 17th, a total of 4 days and 3 nights.

Application forms can be obtained from headcoach@openwatersource.com at the World Open Water Swimming Association.

Chairman Mao Zedong, at the age of 63, swam across the Yangtze River in 1956 which he replicated in both 1958 and 1966. The leader of China said after his 1 hour 5 minute swim in 1966, "The Yangtze River is so wide and turbulent that it is suitable for swimming…its swift flow may train body and temper willpower."

The first race across the Yangtze River was held in 1934 when 44 swimmers took part in the original 5 km race. The inaugural winner, Ju Huaqiang, received a silver shield with the words: Struggle to Conquer the Huge Waves. By 1956, the race had grown to 1,952 swimmers and will be held for the 38th time this year.

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming

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