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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Double Victories For Ba Anh Tu Chau And Heidi Gan

PUTRI ISLAND, INDONESIA. Heidi Gan (shown on left) and Ba Anh Tu Chau of Vietnam were double-trouble at the 2011 SEA Games.

Both Heidi and Ba Anh won their second open water swim after capturing the 10K marathon swim in Putri Island (Pulau Putri, Kepulauan Seribu) in Indonesia today. With superb organization of 226 volunteers and officials showcasing the sport in a tropical setting, the 5K and 10K events proved to be magnificent additions to the Southeast Asian Games.

With a 15-minute separation between the men's and women's field, the 14 athletes completed the loop course in 29.5°C under the watchful eyes of the safety officials and surprised onlookers from the shoreline.

On the men's side, Ba Anh won by 9 seconds to take his second gold medal of the SEA Games (below on left). On the women's side, Heidi accomplished the same with a dominating 14-minute victory that added to her gold medal tally.

Their next major step is competing at the 2012 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim qualification race in Setubal, Portugal.

Heidi commented on her victory, not an easy one, "I have marks all over my body from the jelly fish stings. To me, every sting was a jolt that kept me going. The 10,000 meters is a long race and, sometimes, these ‘jolts’ keep me awake. My coach (Matthew Magee) told me after the race that he even saw a turtle swimming alongside me. Fortunately, I did not see it. I would have surely panicked. Everything’s new to me. Now, I am told that the OCM (Olympic Council of Malaysia) and ASUM (Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia) plan to send me for the Olympic qualifier. That is great news and, hopefully, it will happen. I will head back to Perth after this and beef up my preparations to get ready for the Olympic qualifier."

The final 10K marathon swimming results:

1. Ba Anh Tu Chau (Vietnam) 2:14:32
2. Ricky Angga Wijaya (Indonesia) 2:14:41
3. Kevin Yeap Soon C (Malaysia) 2:15:29
4. Vernon Lee Jeau ZH (Malaysia) 2:15:32
5. Brandon Boon (Singapore) 2:15:34
6. Satrio Bagaskara G (Indonesia) 2:16:08
7. Kenneth Lim (Singapore) 2:29:14
8. Van Ty Nguyen (Vietnam) 2:32:10

1. Heidi Gan (Malaysia) 2:20:26
2. Thi Ngoc Yen N. (Vietnam) 2:34:59
3. Yessy V Yosaputra (Indonesia) 2:38:47
4. Anissa Fabiola (Indonesia) 2:42:39
5. Chelsea Fuch (Singapore) 2:43:37
6. Thi Ngoc Bich N. (Vietnam) 2:43:48

Photos and information courtesy of Christopher Guesdon. Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source

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