Jellyfish attacks Swedish swimmer

Eva Berglund fought off a stinging jellyfish in Melbourne to reassert her claim for a place in Sweden's team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Swimming in the 10 km freestyle, a new event at the forthcoming Olympic Games, Berglund was attacked by the jellyfish towards the end of the marathon race, Dagens Nyheter reports.

“It was 400 metres from the finish. The underside came right at my face. I flailed about with my arms and didn’t think I would make it to the finish.

“It hurt in the same way as when you’re stung by nettles, only a hundred times worse. I wanted to tear off my skin,” Berglund told Dagens Nyheter.

With an ice pack pushed to her face and crying from the pain, Berglund was taken for treatment.

Incredibly, she managed to finish the race under the watchful eyes of Swedish team coach Thomas Jansson. Her tenth place finish, just 16 seconds after six-time world champion, 18-year-old Larisa Iltjenko, puts her in serious contention for an Olympic place.

“She beat reigning European champion Rita Kovacs. And in second place was Cassandra Patten, who took gold at the 400 metre freestyle event in the World Championships two years ago.

“That shows the quality and still she was up there. This and her eighth place in the 5 km event means that she should be very well placed for the Olympics,” said Thomas Jansson.


Malmö: Swimmers warned to stay out of water due to dangeous algae

Residents and visitors to Malmö have been warned to avoid swimming at all beaches and bathing spots along the southern city's coastline due to dangerous algae bloom in the water.

Malmö: Swimmers warned to stay out of water due to dangeous algae
The bathing pier at Sundspromenaden, one of Malmö's affected beaches. Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT

Editor's note: On Thursday, July 25th, city authorities said it was once again safe to swim. Bathers are advised to look for signs and flags by swimming spots in case the situation changes.

The city council took to social media to ask people to avoid swimming “until further notice”, while signs have been put up and black flags raised at the sites themselves.

This is after regular tests showed there was algal bloom in the water, which can produce toxins that are dangerous to people and animals, sometimes leading to rashes and stomach flu-like symptoms.

While the warm weather encourages many people to go for a dip outdoors, these weather conditions can also lead to overgrowth of algae.

Some of the affected swimming spots include Klagshamnsstranden, Ribersborgsstranden, Scaniabadet and Sundspromenaden in the Västra Hamnen area, Sibbarps saltsjöbad, and Sibbarpsstranden.

As for when it will be safe to swim again, it could be at least another day or two, but it's possible the beaches will be safe for bathers by the weekend.

Marie Persson from Malmö City's environmental department told Sydsvenskan: “We usually don't have this for more than a couple of days, then the wind blows it to other places. Now the weather is supposed to stay steady with calm winds, but I have no idea of ​​the currents. Hopefully it will be no more than a few days.”