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Savai'i Games organizers expect event to grow

Organizers of the inaugural Savai'i Games in Samoa believe the event will continue to grow in years to come.The multi-sport games comprises a 22.3km swim between the islands of Upolu and Savai'i on April the 7th, which organizers say is the longest in the Southern Hemisphere available to non-elite swimmers.Organizer Seti Afoa said there will be eight swimmers on the starting blocks although interest was actually much higher.\But given the lead-time for preparation a lot of people that were hoping to come up for this year's swim will now have to come next year. They basically have to qualify for the swim (by swimming 10km in less than three hours) - the cut-off for that was in January.\The swim will be followed by a 180km round the island cycle race two days later before the Games concludes on the 16th with the island's first ever marathon.Seti Afoa said competitors from all walks of life are competing.\We have a local team going through so that's three swimmers - the rest are coming across (from overseas). There are people who have had something on their bucket list to do on a big birthday. We have a 60 year old out of New Zealand - Bronwen Burmester out of Whangamata. Her son Moss Burmester swam for New Zealand of course in the Commonwealth and Olympic Games but she's doing the swim to celebrate 60 years. We have a doctor out of Auckland who turns 50 on the day of the swim - that's his birthday present to himself so that's the kind of level of entry that we're getting and interest from people who want to do the swim next year. It's just a milestone in their life.\Seti Afoa said 20 riders will line-up for the cycle race, including some from New Zealand and Australia, with 30 taking part in the marathon.