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ChristchurchNZ in association with the Wuhan Foreign Affairs Office and Swimming Canterbury West Coast are thrilled to announce the selection of Liam Moloney (Jasi) and Evelyn Ponga (Wharenui), to compete at the 45th Annual Wuhan International Yangtze River Crossing Festival.

The Festival takes place in Wuhan, the capital city of central China’s Hubei Province, and Christchurch’s sister city on the 16th July 2019.

ChristchurchNZ (the city’s economic development and city profile agency, in charge of promoting Christchurch as one of New Zealand’s premier destinations) and SCWC have again been offered this fantastic promotional invitation from the Wuhan Foreign Affairs Office, offering 2 fully-funded places for eligible Christchurch swimmers to participate in this year’s Annual Yangtze River Crossing Race.

The 1800m race attracts swimmers from around the world and offers prize money ranging from USD$20,000 to $500 for the top 30 places, so it will be no surprise if the two-time winner from Sweden is back to defend his title this year.

To be eligible for initial selection, swimmers had to be Christchurch based, have met the 400m qualifying standard and be aged 15 years and over. All eligible SCWC athletes were individually contacted via email and offered the opportunity to put their name forward for consideration for this fantastic opportunity.

The initial pool of applicants was then required to complete a questionnaire, which allowed for the selection of a short-list of four swimmers; two male and two female.

Because this amazing adventure is not just about swimming, but also about promoting Christchurch and honouring the bond between the sister cities, part of the selection involved finding the best ambassadors for our own beautiful city.

With this in mind, our four short-listed athletes underwent a formal interview with the management team at ChristchurchNZ, who then made their final selection.

Huge congratulations to Liam and Evelyn, who impressed the ChristchurchNZ team immensely with their fantastic interviews, and who are now preparing to head halfway across the world on the adventure of a lifetime. Have fun, race hard, and don’t forget to send us photos!!!