Swimming: Inaugural Liberty Wave open-water event to launch in September

SINGAPORE - Open-water swimmers here can now look forward to another event held on the Republic's shores, with the inaugural Liberty Wave event set to take place from Sept 29 to Oct 1.

The three-day meet is organised by Liberty Insurance and sanctioned by the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA).

Said Chang Sucheng, Liberty Insurance's chief executive yesterday: "Singaporeans love a challenge and we believe that open-water swimming is a new and exciting sport that will challenge them to their limits."

Liberty Wave will feature four race categories - the 1km, 2km and 4km individual events, as well as a 4x1km team event. The races will take place on Oct 1 at Casuarina Grove in East Coast Park.

There will also be a separate 300m swim for children aged seven to 12 in the open water. This swim is meant to allow kids to familiarise themselves with open-water conditions, with lifeguards on kayaks and safety boats ensuring their safety.

"We're very happy that Liberty took the initiative to approach us about (Liberty Wave) and we will be doing our best to support the event going forward," said SSA president Lee Kok Choy.

"With open-water swimming being an Olympic sport, we hope to find Singaporeans who would be keen to pursue this on an elite level."

Added SEA Games-bound open-water swimmer Benedict Boon: "Athletes always want more exposure to competitions so this can be one such platform for us here.

"It's also good for the sport if people take part in this, get interested, and start taking open-water swimming more seriously."

Liberty Wave is the second public open-water swimming event to be held in Singapore this year, after the Open Swim Stars Sunset Race in May.

The latter race, organised by Sports Swim Organisation, saw more than 250 participants take part and is into its fourth edition.

Liberty Insurance and the SSA also collaborated to hold the Liberty Insurance Open Water South-east Asian qualifiers in March.

Liberty Wave is open to both local and international swimmers. Interested participants can register at www.libertywave.sg. Registration ends on Sept 4.

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