12/13 September 2009 – Windermere
British swimmers, Tom Allen and Katy Whitfield have splashed their way to podium finishes at the British Gas Great North Swim.
Tom, who finished sixth at the World Championships in Rome this summer, powered through the elite field to take bronze (16m26s) in a nail-biting race for the finish with Russia’s Danill Serebrennikov taking gold (16m23s) and Germany’s Alexander Studzinski (16m23s) coming a close second to take home silver in the men’s leg hitting the board just split-seconds later.
In the women’s elite event, Germany’s Nadine Pastor claimed victory through a stunning performance to complete the one-mile open water course in 18 minutes and 14 seconds. She was followed by promising GB junior and winner of the British Gas Great London Swim, Katy Whitfield (18m15s) in second place and Olympic champion, Russia’s Larisa Ilchenko (18m16s) in third.
Double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington was on-hand to cheer her GB team-mate Jo Jackson as she celebrated her 23rd birthday by competing in the elite race and finished eighth.
Setting the pace at the British Gas Great North Swim, elites from around the globe were joined by sporting celebrities, Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham MP, GMTV’s resident GP, Dr Hilary Jones, EastEnders’ Phil Mitchell actor Steve McFadden and former 5000m Olympic silver medallist, Sonia O’Sullivan, who travelled to the stunning Lake District National Park shoreline to take part.
Celebrating the completion of his one-mile swim in 35 minutes for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, soap star Steve McFadden, said: “The British Gas Great North Swim and swimming in Windermere was exactly what I’d hoped for, a great atmosphere, a great day out, and raising money for a great organisation, the RNLI.”
Video of the Purple and White wave 3.30pm start on 12 September 2009
Thousands gathered to bath in the sunshine at Windermere this weekend, where temperatures in the water reached 17°c.
Building on the success of the inaugural event in 2008 when 2,200 swimmers completed the one-mile open water course, this weekend, a staggering 6,000 eager swimmers took the plunge and the event will be televised in the autumn on Channel 4.
The British Gas Great North Swim is part of a four race series across the UK, which will see more than 10,000 swimmers tackle the one mile distance.
The final event in the series, the British Gas Great East Swim will take place on Saturday 26 September 09. So far, 1,300 swimmers have registered to take place at the one-day event just south of Ipswich, at Alton Water – the largest area of inland water in the picturesque county of Suffolk. Entries are still open at www.greatswim.org
Elite Women’s Results
Download the full elite womens results
Elite Men’s Results
Download the full elite mens results