Swimmers of all abilities took part in the annual three-day Great North Swim, with the elite men’s and women’s races bringing the event to a spectacular close.
The 2014 event saw some of the world’s finest open water swimmers converge on Windermere, with Sunday’s races acting as a qualifying opportunity for the European Championships and the World Youth Championships.
Top athletes included last year’s Great North Swim champion, Tom Allen; 2013 World Championship gold medallist, Christian Reichert; two-time Olympian and 2011 World Championship gold medallist, Swann Oberson; and 2013 European Junior 5k champion, Alice Dearing.
The Wolverhampton teenager was first Brit home, finishing her 5k swim in 58 minutes, 41 seconds.
Claiming second place in the women’s elite race, Dearing said: “I thought the venue was great. It’s the best venue for open water I’ve been in so far. I much prefer open water. It’s much more interesting. It’s nice to see a crowd."
Anna Olasz , the 2014 Great North Swim champion, broke away from the chasing pack in the first of three laps and maintained her lead, finishing in 57 minutes 59 seconds.
Currently ranked 11th in the world Olasz, from Hungary, added: “I thought it would be much colder. It was cold but I was expecting it to be much worse. I like cold water more than warm water but I’ve never swum in 17C water before.”
Allen retained his title to win the men’s 5k elite race in 54 minutes, closely followed by Chris Bryan of Ireland and Christian Reichert of Germany.
Alongside the elite athletes, swimmers of all abilities took on their own personal challenge with courses from half-a-mile to two miles.
The 2015 Great North Swim takes place from Friday June 12 to Sunday June 14.
GREAT NORTH SWIM 2014 RESULTS
Men’s elite race (top ten)
1. Tom Allen 54:10; 2. Chris Bryan 54:20; 3. Christian Reichert 54:20; 4. Mark Deans 54:21; 5. Caleb Hughes 54:21; 6. Jan Posmourny 54:22; 7. Oliver Tennant 54:22’; Chris Guggitt 54:22; 9. Seren Meisgner 54:23; 10. Thomas Nelson 54:27.
Women’s elite race (top ten)
1. Anna Olasz 57:59; 2. Alice Dearing 58:41; 3. Lauren Walton 58:51; 4. Ellena Jones 58:51; 5. Sophia Evans 59:24; 6. Philippa Shuttleworth 59:26; 7. Lucy Campbell 59:28; 8. Hollie Hibbitt 59:29; 9. Harriett Rothwell 1:00:44; 10. Rebella Smith 1:00:49.
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