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FINA 2009 World Championships Swimming - Day 3 Morning Session

David Davies took five seconds off the 800m Freestyle British record as the British Gas swimming team secured one final and three semi-final places after strong performances through the heat session. Davies took to heat four alongside Italian Federico Colbertaldo and Robert Hurley (Australia) and was looking to post a quick time to reach the final next day.

The Olympic silver medallist dominated the first half of his race but as the race entered the final 400m Colbertaldo began to close in on the British Gas swimmer. Davies showed his strength in the final 100m as he touched in a time of 7:45.89 to knock five seconds off his own British record time and qualified in fourth place for the final.

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Open Water Development Plans

Information on Open Water development plans

Blue Peter Badge for Mark Perry

British Swimming’s Mark Perry has been awarded an iconic Blue Peter badge after lending his Open Water expertise to two of the show’s presenters.

Perry, British Swimming’s Open Water Performance Manager, has been coaching Blue Peter presenters Joel Defries and Helen Shelton as they train to take part in the Bosporus Swim in Turkey this summer.

Change to the Minimum Age for Open Water Swimming

Young swimmers are now being given the opportunity to test their open water swimming skills thanks to a rule change by the ASA. Previously, the minimum age for competitors was 11 years (so long as the swimmer was due to turn 12 years old by 31st December the year of the competition).
However, this rule change means that some 10 year olds can now compete in events up to and including 1,000 metres (so long as the swimmer is due to turn 11 years old by 31st December the year of the competition).
The Chairman of the Open Water Working Group, John Hidle, said of the rule change:
"I am pleased to say that, following a lengthy medical study, the Board have adopted the new age band (subject to the maximum distance proviso). Together with the provision for Temporary Membership of the ASA, which will allow athletes to try the sport, the two changes are expected to pave the way for significantly increased participation."
The age band will not necessarily be added to every event, but some clubs and regions are already making plans to allow younger swimmers to take part.
Hidle went on to say: "The medical study will continue to monitor the effect of the minimum age change in those events which do incorporate it. Decisions on the day of the event will always err on the side of caution. Swimmers, and especially younger swimmers and the potentially inexperienced, will only be allowed to take part if the Safety Officer considers this to be prudent."
In order to compete in any discipline at the level of competition indicated, a swimmer must be of the minimum age shown. The age specified in each case shall be the age of the swimmer at midnight on 31st December in the year of competition, except where the section states otherwise.
Change to the Minimum Age for Open Water Swimming in the Rules of the Amateur Swimming Association (“ASA”)
Please be advised that ASA Regulation 410.4 regarding the minimum age for Open Water Swimming has been amended to now read:
410.4 Open Water
410.4.1 Events up to and including 1,000 m 11 years
410.4.2 Events up to and including 2,000 m 12 years
410.4.3 Events up to and including 10,000 m 13 years
410.4.4 Events over 10,000 m 16 years
This change has been approved by ASA Board and is effective as from 1 May 2009.

Unfortunately the announcement is too late for this year's Weymouth swim as the closing date is 8 June but it will be in next year's conditions.

As we asked for the change, please use it as soon as possible. Download change to ASA Law regarding minimum age for competition, effective 1 May 2009

ASA Regional Talent Programme for 2009-2010

The English Programmes in conjunction with the Region will be responsible for the joint delivery of the regions Level 1 Age Group, Level Youth and Open Water Development Camps for the 2009-10 swimming season. The camps are for age group and youth swimmers and will primarily be selected from the 2009 National Age Group / Youth Championships in July / August 2009. If places are still available then times will be considered from the 2009 regional championships.

Download details.

Olympic Results help to shape future of Open Water

Britain's medal-winning performances and dominance of the marathon swimming events at the Beijing Games has kick-started a wave of interest in the newest sport to be included in the Olympic programme.

The subsequent enthusiasm and support shown towards open water, from those within swimming as well as the public at large, is something British Swimming Open Water Performance Manager Mark Perry believes will be a major factor in its continued success.

The British trio of David Davies, Keri-Anne Payne and Cassie Patten took three of the six available medals from 10km events in Beijing and in doing so highlighted the vital work of a team of people that has put Britain at the very forefront of open water swimming. As good as the summer of 2008 was for the open water programme, Perry knows it will take an even greater effort to retain Britain's formidable reputation while looking to build on those results.

British Open Water Swimming holds open day

The British Open Water Team held an open day in december 2008 at Loughborough University organised by Open Water Performance Manager Mark Perry.

Perry heads up Open Water swimming in Great Britain and one of his first tasks is to get the sport into the public eye. In order to do this, the talented young British swimmers need to step into the shoes of Britain’s Olympic medallists.

The open day introduced potential Open Water swimmers to the techniques, skills and tactics of open water swimming in addition to exploring many other aspects of the sport with their coaches and parents.

Patten to take on Channel Challenge

Following her success in Beijing, Olympic Bronze Medallist Cassie Patten is facing a new challenge. Patten is going to attempt one of the world’s toughest endurance feats; swimming the English Channel.

It’s a challenge that has appealed to many adventurous swimmers over the years despite the fact swimming the Channel is recognised as one of the hardest swims in the world to complete.

Open Water Plan 2008

Please read in conjunction with approved budget 2008-2009

New roles key to future of British Swimming

British Swimming has unveiled key new roles within the World Class Programme that will develop young talent as well as enhance the support to athletes through sport science.

The role of British Development Coach will be undertaken by Chris Martin who will use his many years of experience, including coaching athletes to the podium at Olympic Games, to identify and nurture the next generation of elite swimmers.

Martin is currently National Coach for Scotland and has held positions with City of Birmingham and University of Florida throughout his career. Since 1997, Martin has regularly been selected to Britain's international teams.

Mark Perry has been appointed Open Water Performance Manager and will be tasked with continuing Britain's promising start within the new Olympic sport.

Mastering the Channel

Nuala Muir-Cochrane, Lifelong Participation Officer for the asa, will soon be swimming the English Channel in order to raise money for Mind - The Mental Health Charity.

Dublin-born Nuala has worked for the asa for the last two years. When asked why she was doing the swim she said, “I obviously need my head testing! Swimming the channel has been an ambition of mine for a very long time and I thought I would do it now before I got too old!”

In her youth, Nuala was a senior GB international distance swimmer and sees swimming the channel as the ultimate challenge. “I want to push my limits,” she said, “and swimming the channel is obviously very different from pool swimming. I’m venturing into the unknown!”

Swim It! The English Channnel Challenge in your local pool

Swim 22 miles, in 12 weeks, at your local swimming Pool.... and there you have the recipe for the UK's largest annual sponsored swimming event - the Aspire Channel Swim, now in its 9th year.

Swimmers from all across the country are preparing to Swim it! And so can you. Whether you're 5 years old, 105 years old or anywhere in between join this swimming challenge either on your own or with a group of family or friends and in no time at all you will cover the 22 mile distance of the English Channel whilst raising funds and awareness for Aspire.

Between Monday 15 September 2008 and Sunday 7 December 2008 thousands of swimmers across the country will embark on this epic swimming challenge to swim the 22-mile distance of the English Channel in their local swimming pools to help Aspire to reach their target of £500,000.

"The Aspire Channel Swim is a fantastic challenge which can be done by people of all ages and fitness abilities,” said Sharron Davies MBE, double Commonwealth Gold and Olympic Swimming Champion.