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Triathlete stopped by border patrol

Australian's record-breaking 483km “Arch to Arc” triathlon bid briefly halted after he is mistaken for illegal immigrant

A SUPER-FIT Australian athlete was mistaken for a suspected illegal immigrant as he embarked on the cross-channel swimming leg of the gruelling 483km “Arch to Arc” ultra-triathlon.

John Van Wisse, 41, was briefly stopped by UK border patrol officers on Dover’s Shakespeare Beach as he prepared to begin the swim leg across the English Channel.

They had been called by suspicious locals.

But they quickly realised what was happening and left him to continue what would be a record-breaking attempt.

Mr Van Wisse was competing in the “Arch to Arc” triathlon challenge, from London’s Marble Arch to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

He had already run 140km from London to Dover and was about to start the 34km swim after a break of around seven hours.

After completing the swim, he still faced a 290km cycle ride to Paris.

His finishing time of 61 hours and 27 minutes cut 12 hours and 12 minutes off the previous record, set by Englishman Mark Bayliss in 2012.

In setting the record, he became only the 14th person to complete the challenge.


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