Champion swimmers miss Monaco meet

James Guy. Photo: Facebook SwimSwam/Peter Sukenik/www.petersukenik.com
James Guy. Photo: Facebook SwimSwam/Peter Sukenik/www.petersukenik.com

Three champion British swimmers failed to make it to Mare Nostrum swimming tour in Monaco at the weekend because they were bumped from their easyJet flight from the UK on Friday.

Two of the three eventually made it to Nice-Côte d’Azur airport in time to compete on Sunday, the second day, but missed their Saturday heats.

James Guy, holder of the 200m freestyle world record and a double Olympic silver medallist, didn’t make it for the 400m freestyle on Saturday, however, on Sunday he claimed top seed in the men’s 100m butterfly with a time of 52:30.

Chris Walker-Hebborn missed all of his events because they took place on Saturday.

The three swimmers were booked on an A320 aircraft from Bristol, but this was replaced by a smaller A319. It is believed that the problem with the Bristol-Nice flight was a knock on from a technical problem suffered by easyJet on a flight from Malaga on Thursday, which was delayed for 40 hours.

Eventually the easyJet pilot asked the 120 passengers onboard to vote with a show of hands whether to take off with only one engine working. When a majority elected to get off the plane, they had to wait two hours before they could do so. They spent two nights in mainly poor hotels and were given only enough money to buy a bottle of water.

EasyJet is the number one carrier at Nice airport and has flights to and from five UK destinations, including nine flights every week between Nice and Bristol and several flights each day to London Gatwick.

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