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Swimmers brave chilly water in annual Prague race

Prague

26-December-2019

More than 400 swimmers braved the icy water of Prague's Vltava river for the annual Alfred Nikodem Memorial race.

In its 73rd edition, the race has been a Christmas staple since 1947, with international swimmers of all ages competing in three distances: 100, 300 and 750 meters, reports Efe news.

The water of the Vltava on Thursday was a chilly 5.6 degrees Celsius, just slightly higher than four degrees which is considered icy water, whilst the air temperature was four degrees.

Swimmers from seven different countries joined the race, with people travelling from Slovakia, Poland, Belgium, England, Russia and Kazakhstan. The event was named after Alfred Nikodem as a tribute to the goldsmith and Czech athlete who made winter swimming in the Vltava River popular in the 1920s.

The competition takes place between two islands, the Slavonic and Strelecky islands. Along the entire route specialists observe the race and are ready to act if they detect hypothermia in participants.

As participants completed the races, they dried off on the Slavonic Island where the prize ceremony took place in the Renaissance Zofin Palace.IANS