Courtesy of Liberty Wave Open Water Swim, East Coast Park, Singapore.

With political leaders including the Speaker of the Parliament and President of the Singapore National Olympic Council Tan Chuan-Jin, Singapore Swimming Association executives, national team coach Stephen Widmer looking on, Benedict Boon and Chantal Liew [shown on left] won the inaugural Liberty Wave Open Water Swim in a rectangular course at East Coast Park in Singapore.

Over 700 people raced at one of the Liberty Wave Open Water Swims (100m kids race, 1 km, 2 km and 4 km distances).

It was interesting to hear and see the reaction of all the 1 km swimmers who had to face really turbulent waters when the winds came up later in the morning,” observed Steven Munatones. “There were whitecaps all over the place and the chop was hitting the swimmers head on. It would have been difficult for most veterans, yet the 1 km newcomers took on the challenge.

Some of them did not finish and the lifesaving staff on RIBs and kayaks have to help them get back to shore. It was a very difficult test for a first-time race and first-time open water swimmers. The 2 km and 4 km swimmers did not face similar conditions, but the organizers came true with flying colors in providing a safe race where their lifesaving skills were called upon.

As for the swimmers, they acknowledged the difficulty of the conditions, but they vowed to return next year and take up the sport again.”

The swimmers headed from the shoreline directly to the huge finish tent located at East Coast Park that was filled with all kinds of local delicacies and post-race foods and drinks for the swimmers. “The disappointment seemed to quickly erase after the swimmers gathered and ate together – sharing stories of fighting the surface chop and whitecaps.”

The events were spread out throughout the morning so athletes could compete in the various races. Alard Schroeder turned the tables in the 2 km race, winning over Benedict Boon who earlier won the 4 km race.

On the women’s side, former 100m backstroke specialist Chantal Liew built up her open water swimming portfolio with double wins in both the 2 km and 4 km races.

Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin also swam the 1 km race, lining up shoulder-to-shoulder with CEO of the title sponsor, Liberty Insurance’s Chang Sucheng at the start. They were joined by over 300 people in the 1 km race.

After the races, Singapore’s most well-known mother, May Schooling, spoke about the importance of water safety, being comfortable in the water, and setting goals. The mother of Singapore’s first Olympic gold medalist and Olympic record holder, Joseph Schooling, she knows well how far commitment and passion can take a swimmer to success in the water and on dryland [read here].

4 km Top 25 Results:
1. Benedict Boon 59:01.6
2. Erasmus Ang 59:05.1
3. Collin Schuster 59:32.8
4. Chantal Liew 1:00:35.3 [first woman]
5. Sebastien Bodet 1:01:43.6
6. Jose Luis Larrosa Chorro 1:01:46.7
7. Khar Yi Chin 1:02:14.4 [second woman]
8. Alexander Mordvincev 1:02:33.2
9. Marina Chan 1:02:37.6 [third woman]
10. Nicolas Duchene 1:03:26.3
11. Paul Clement 1:04:10.2
12. Ervina Lim 1:04:31.9 [fourth woman]
13. Alard Schroeder 1:05:10.4
14. Colin Oshea 1:06:09.2
15. Jennifer Zenker 1:07:02.5 [fifth woman]
16. Emilio Rafols 1:08:30.4
17. Alexander Kwiatkowski 1:09:00.6
18. Erika Hailey 1:09:13.3 [sixth woman]
19. Marco Murari 1:09:39.1
20. Melanie Speet 1:09:59.1 [seventh woman]
21. Andrew Schleis 1:12:02.0
22. Julia Sharkowicz 1:12:02.6 [eighth woman]
23. James Fleming 1:12:23.7
24. Ethan Creed 1:13:03.9
25. Luke Laycock1:14:48.0

2 km Top 12 Results:
1. Alard Schroeder 30:19.2
2. Benedict Boon 30:19.9
3. Chee Hean (shae) Lee 30:27.6
4. Chantal Liew 30:59.8 [first woman]
5. Marina Chan 31:21.9 [second woman]
6. Mark Sia Hwee Tan 31:43.8
7. Benjamin Yeo 32:06.0
8. Johan Dulat 32:06.6
9. Jason Ramsey 32:18.8
10. Louis Decotte 32:20.9
11. Kathlyn Yeo 32:44.0 [third woman]
12. Andrew Hailey 33:17.4

1 km Top 12 Results:
1. Yi Liang Pek 15:57.4
2. Joshua Yeo 16:03.3
3. Zhi Cong Lim 16:11.4
4. Sebastien Bodet 16:20.5
5. Koh Liang Jun 16:23.7
6. Erasmus Ang 16:30.2
7. Chin Khar Yi 16:36.3 [first woman]
8. Oh Yao Jie 16:40.7
9. Ervina Lim 16:49.8 [second woman]
10. Chantal Liew 17:05.0 [third woman]
11. Benedict Boon 17:10.8
12. Marina Chan 17:12.0

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