Olympic stars anchor swimathon

OLYMPIC stars Mandy Loots and Ryk Neethling will lead South Africa's top swimmers at Swimming SA's 24-hour Swimathon 2010 at the Ellis Park Swimming Pool in Johannesburg from tomorrow until Saturday.

OLYMPIC stars Mandy Loots and Ryk Neethling will lead South Africa's top swimmers at Swimming SA's 24-hour Swimathon 2010 at the Ellis Park Swimming Pool in Johannesburg from tomorrow until Saturday.

The goal is to break the GuinnessWorldRecords for the most swimmers featuring in a 24-hour relay. The relay will start at noon tomorrow.

Other top swimmers who will take part are Soweto-based Thabang Moeketsane, Chanelle van Wyk, George du Rand, Garth Tune, Oneida Cooper, Theo Vorster and Ricky Ellis.

The record is held by St Mary's Diocesan School for Girls in Pretoria, who used 3941 swimmers in setting the benchmark.

Mafata Modutoane, acting manager of Swimming SA's mass participation programme, said the purpose of the event was to raise awareness of water safety and to raise funds for the Learn to Swim programme to place portable pools in communities that do not have swimming facilities, especially in the rural areas.

"We urge all the swimmers and the community at large to come in big numbers to enjoy themselves with some of the national swimmers," said Modutoane.

"We aim to have more than 4000 participants in this year's 24-hour swimming relay on a mission to break the Guinness World Records set last season."

Participants can enter the swimathon on the day of the event. The entry fee is R20.

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