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Last Updated: Monday, 25 August, 2003, 17:13 GMT 18:13 UK
Record-breaking Phillip keeps bog title
Bog snorkeller
Snorkellers cannot use conventional swimming strokes
A 16-year-old swimmer has successfully defended his title in the annual bog snorkelling championships.

Phillip John, of Bridgend, south Wales, set a new record time of one minute 35 seconds after completing the course which involved swimming two lengths of a water-filled ditch.

Now in its 18th year, Monday's contest attracted a field of 97 entrants from as far away as Australia to a peat bog in the mid Wales town of Llanwrtyd Wells.

Abigail James, of Llanymynech, mid Wales, took the womens' title in a time of one minute 57 seconds while Becky Jones was crowned local champion.

We have had other people defend the title before but this year it was a world record time
Organiser Gordon Green

Competitors had to complete the muddy and reed-filled course without the aid of conventional swimming strokes and this year faced a strict time limit to reach the first turn.

A crowd of more than 1,000 cheered them on.

The 1995 event was cancelled because of a lack of water in the bog but despite the recent sunny weather organiser Gordon Green said conditions proved ideal.

"We have had other people defend the title before but this year it was a world record time," he said.

"Lots of people have turned out and the whole day has been very good.

"Despite the recent hot spell there's been plenty of water about."

The event began in 1986 when local pubgoers were trying to think of a way to raise money for charity.

Funds from the event will be donated to the mid Wales division of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

The BBC's James Ingham
"One hundred entrants came from around the world"

Swimmers aim for bog standard
25 Aug 03  |  Wales
Public millions to save peat bogs
27 Feb 02  |  Science/Nature
Sport sinks to murky depths
31 Aug 99  |  Wales

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