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Ten Top Impressions At The World Championships

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

After Day One and Day Two at the 2011 FINA World Championships…

The Daily News of Open Water Swimming had time to reflect on the outcome of the races…

Here are 10 impressions that come immediately to mind:

  1. The top Greek athletes are clearly ready to win some Olympic 10K Marathon Swim medals at the 2012 London Olympics. Spyros Gianniotis and Marianna Lymperta are clearly using their years of training, patience and experience to come through at the end of races.
  2. Age and experience are two attributes that are clearly useful in racing at the elite levels of marathon swimming. Spyros (31 years old), Marianna (31), Angela Maurer (35), Thomas Lurz (32) and Ky Hurst (30) are proving that swimming in one’s thirties can be an advantage, not a disadvantage against teenagers and those in their twenties.
  3. The Russian men (3rd place Sergey Bolshakov and 9th place Vladimir Dyatchin) are taking the mantle from their traditionally more powerful Russian women’s team.
  4. The Germans remain a force on the international open water swimming scene with Angela Maurer (8th place), Thomas Lurz (2nd) and Andreas Waschburger (10th) qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics. Germany had the most number of individual qualifiers.
  5. The Spaniards (10th place Erika Vallaecija Garcia and 6th place Francisco Hervas Jodar) fared very well.
  6. The Aussies are knocking at the door of the Olympic podium (4th place Melissa Gorman and 5th place Ky Hurst), especially since the Olympic course will favor their style of swimming and experience.
  7. The nations of the 20 Olympic qualifiers reflect areas of the globe where open water swimming is growing and popular. The Olympians hail from Great Britain, Argentina, Brazil, USA, Czech Republic, Greece, Germany, Russia, Australia, Spain, Belgium, France, Italy and Switzerland.
  8. Countries who were shut out of automatic Olympic berths (e.g., South Africa, Venezuela, Croatia, Netherlands, Mexico, China, New Zealand, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan) will intensify their efforts and training in order to qualify for the last-chance opportunity in June 2012 in Setubal Bay, Portugal.
  9. Despite the large fields, the men respected each other’s space in the race with a relatively clean and gentlemanly race.
  10. Most Importantly… Expect The Unexpected.
    Multiple-time world champions like Valerio Cleri, who has been on top of the sport for many years, can be unexpectedly surprised in any competition.

Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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