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Swimmers get set for Sun Moon Lake fest

The China Post news staff--The annual Sun Moon Lake International Swimming Carnival will kick off on Sept. 15, with more than 28,000 swimmers expected to take part to mark the event's 30 anniversary, according to organizers.

A total of 1,336 local and foreign teams, featuring 28,390 members from around the world, will swim 3 kilometers across the beautiful lake in Nantou County, the organizers said.

A total of 1,761 foreigners in 33 foreign teams will be competing in the event — a record number for the carnival. The foreigners are from the United States, France, Myanmar, Argentina, mainland China and many other countries, the organizers said.

The organizers noted that 268 physically challenged swimmers will also be competing.

The swimming contest will take place on Sept. 16, but the carnival will start with an evening concert on Sept. 15 at a pier at the lake, featuring singers from Taiwan and the mainland, as well as aboriginal dances, the organizers said.

The highlights of the evening will be a fireworks display, they added.

The carnival started 30 years ago to promote tourism in the mountainous county in Central Taiwan, with participants increasing every year.

The county is also arranging a special triathlon event that starts with the 3-kilometer swim on Sept. 15 across the Sun Moon Lake.

The second leg will be a 55km bicycle race in the mountains on Sept. 22. The last leg of the event will feature a 42.195km marathon taking place on Sept. 23, the organizers said, adding that the winner of the triathlon will take home NT$1 million in prize money.

To ensure safety for the swim across the lake on Sept. 16, the military will support the event by dispatching 40 lifeguards, 10 patrol vessels, seven ambulances, 14 medical personnel, one helicopter and various other personnel, the organizers said.

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