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Focus on Wales: Keen bog snorkeller? Come to Wales 

11 November 2016

It may not have featured in the Olympic Games in Rio, but sport doesn’t come much tougher or muckier than bog snorkelling.

Wallowing in the muddy waters of a peat bog may not have mass appeal but keen swimmer Openreach manager Daren Haseldine thinks otherwise.

The annual World Bog Snorkelling Championships is held in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales and this year our very own Michael Phelps took on 200 competitors from around the globe and finished a very impressive – if muddy, second overall.

Daren regularly represents South Beds Masters Swimming Club in competitions, including in lakes. But even he found this event challenging.

Competitors, many in fancy dress, wear a snorkel and flippers to swim a 120-yard course in a water-filled trench cut through a peat bog, relying on flipper power alone.

Openreach manager Daren Haseldine

Commenting on his bog snorkeling experience, Daren, said: “I’m a keen swimmer and probably took it a bit too seriously. I was the only one not drinking alcohol.

“The water is freezing cold and absolutely black. You can’t see a thing. With your head in the water you don’t know where you’re going. People told me I’d probably catch all sorts of illnesses. I tried to keep my mouth closed.

“I completed the course in one minute 31 seconds. For half an hour I headed the leaderboard and was quite excited that, at nearly 50, I might win. But I was beaten into second place by an 18-year-old serious swimmer, Daniel Norman.

“It was great fun. I’m going to train hard for next year’s event and I’m hopeful I can beat this year’s winning time of one minute 26 seconds.”

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Ffocws ar Gymru: Snorcelwr cors? Dewch i Gymru

Efallai nad oedd yn rhan o’r Gemau Olympaidd yn Rio, ond nid oes llawer o chwaraeon mor galed a brwnt na snorcelio cors.

Mae’n debyg na fydd morio mewn dŵr a mwd mewn cors fawnog yn apelio at lawer, ond nid yw hynny’n wir am y nofiwr brwd a rheolwr Openreach Darren Haseldine.

Cynhelir pencampwriaeth snorcelio cors y byd bob blwyddyn yn Llanwrtyd ac eleni aeth Michael Phelps BT ati i daclo 200 cystadleuydd o bob rhan o’r byd gan lwyddo i ddod yn ail - er ei bod yn anodd ei adnabod o dan y mwd!

Mae Darren yn nofio’n rheolaidd mewn cystadlaethau gyda chlwb nofio South Beds Masters, yn cynnwys mewn llynnoedd. Ond profodd y gystadleuaeth hon yn her fawr.

Bod blwyddyn mae’n denu cystadleuwyr, llawer mewn gwisg ffansi, i wisgo snorcel a ffliperi i nofio cwrs 120 llathen mewn ffos llawn dŵr o fewn cors fawnog.

Wrth sylwi ar ei brofiad corsiog, dywedodd Darren: “Rwy’n nofio’n rheolaidd ac efallai fy mod wedi cymryd y peth yn rhy ddifrifol. Fi oedd yr unig un nad oedd yn yfed alcohol!

“Mae’r dŵr yn rhewi ac yn llawn mwd. Nid oes modd gweld unrhyw beth, felly gyda’ch pen yn y dŵr, nid ydych yn gwybod ble rydych. Dywedodd pobl y byddwn yn dal pob math o afiechydon, felly cadwais fy ngheg ar gau.

“Fy amser oedd 1 munud 31 eiliad. Am hanner awr roeddwn ar y brig ac yn dechrau cynhyrfu wrth feddwl am ennill fel person sydd bron yn 50 oed. Ond yn y diwedd daeth nofiwr cryf 18 oed, Daniel Norman yn gyntaf.

“Roedd yn lot o hwyl. Rwyf am ymarfer yn galed ar gyfer blwyddyn nesaf er mwyn curo amser enillydd eleni o 1 munud 26 eiliad