Dhiraagu Male’ Open swimming event, organised by Swim Maldives under the sponsorship of local telecom giant Dhiraagu, took place on last weekend, Saturday 12th of October.
This was the first ever competitive OWS event opened to all levels of swimmers in Maldives and it was a big step forward for the maldivian swimming community.
Creating a platform for youngsters to show off their swimming skills, medals were awarded to all participants who completed the race.
«It is easier to move forward if there is some sort of motivational factor. A race like this will increase swimming’s popularity within the public as a competitive sport», said one of the participants.
A total of 198 swimmers took part in the race held in Male’s lagoon at Rasfannu area. The best three swimmers from the one-kilometre race were awarded.
Mohamed Aan Hussain, 15, won first place in the male category, finishing the race in 15 minutes and six seconds. Mohamed Rihan Shiham, 12, took second place with a time of 15 minutes and 45 seconds, while 14-year-old Mohamed Joodh Fayaz finished third in 15 minutes and 58 seconds.
Promising swimmer Hamna Ahmed took the gold in the female category, finishing the race in 16 minutes 29 seconds. Larissa Offeny of Germany bagged second place with a timing of 17 minutes and 16 seconds. Aishath Saushan completed the race in 17 minutes and 47 seconds to secure third place.
Participants competed in a total of seven categories, including the 500-metre race for children under 10, one-kilometre race for age groups 14-11 and 15-19.
Additionally, one-kilometre and 500-metre races were held for age groups 20-29, 30-39, 40-49 and 50 and above.
Any individual who knows how to swim was allowed to participate in the event. In addition to locals, national-level swimmers, many foreigners also took part in the event. One of Swim Maldives’ main aims of hosting the event is to promote the Maldives internationally.
This is the second event hosted by Swim Maldives. The first event, Baa Crawl, held inn February earlier this year, aimed to raise awareness about the environmental issues facing the country. Starting from Eydhafushi and ending at Kendhoo, participants swam a total of 43.7 kilometres, making stops at 23 islands in Baa Atoll.
During the event, participants swam 6.75 kilometres on one day, going down in Maldivian history as the record holders for the longest distance swum in one day across the ocean.