King’s School head boy Ollie Bitowt is marking the start of his A-level exams with selection for Great Britain in the 10km Portuguese Open Water Championships this weekend.
He was due to sit an A-level mathematics paper today but King’s School have managed to arrange for him take it at a school in the Algarve.
The open water race is being held tomorrow at the recently developed Montemor-O-Velho site, two hours from the capital Lisbon.
Lincoln Vulcans coach Hugh Dokter changed Ollie’s regular training due to the selection, and he has been fitting in three 10km time trials on top of his normal routine in preparation for what Hugh described as a “brutal race”.
The race will take place in a man-made lake and Ollie has been steadily reducing his times for the race distance, training in the pool, his best being 1hr 56min.
Ollie said: “I have proved that the distance in the pool is no problem. My final 1,000 metres is consistently faster than my first so it will all come down to what actually happens out there in the race itself.
“Open water swimming is nothing like the comfort of a nice clean lane. At the start of the race I am sure there will be the usual scrum of swimmers fighting for their position, so I hope to get out faster and try to keep out of the main pack if I can.”
He was awarded Lincolnshire Young Sportsman of the Year in November 2012, is a long-standing member of the Lincolnshire Elite Athlete Programme (LEAP), and he plans to study maths at either Bath or Loughborough University from October.