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Friday, January 20, 2012

Look For Ky Hurst In Green And Gold In The Lead Pack

LONDON. Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

On August 10th when 25 of the world's fastest marathon swimmers take to the Olympic Marathon Swimming 10 km in the Serpentine at the 2012 London Olympics, there will be one man proudly wearing the green and gold of Australia - on a mission.

Making the Olympic team in 2012 is not simply his goal - medaling is.

Ky Hurst, who swam in the large shadows of Australian swimming heroes like Grant Hackett in the previous Olympic quadrennial, was happy to make the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim finals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But he has stepped up his game in this quadrennial.

And a gold medal to go along with his Aussie uniform would put a majestic touch to his marvelous open water swimming career.

As the best Australian lifesaving competitor in modern times and a world-class ocean and marathon swimmer, he combines a killer physique with a gentlemanly personality, causing women's jaws to drop wherever he travels. We think his performance in London will also be jaw-dropping.

But the loneliness and sacrifices, the trials and tribulations of a marathon swimmer may have just been upped...and this will make Ky an even more dangerous competitor.

As national teams prepare logistically to head to London, Ky and his fellow two-time Olympic open water teammate Melissa Gorman were told that they could not join their Australian pool swimming teammates in a pre-Olympic training camp in Manchester before the 2012 London Games.

Ky hinted of disappointment when he was interviewed by The Age, "[Swimming Australia head coach] Leigh Nugent told us there was not enough room for the long-distance swimmers to join them on the camp … so we have to find somewhere else. The camaraderie between the swimmers is always healthy and it's always a positive vibe and it's something I enjoyed last time. I'm not sure of the reasoning behind [Nugent's] decision but he's the head coach for a reason and he's made it clear that's what is happening."

Melissa echoed similar sentiments. "It's weird, there's only two of us and they don't have enough space for us but we get along well with each other so I'm sure we'll be fine wherever we go."

That is for sure.

A Swimming Australia spokesman told The Age, "...our open water swimmers, who compete five days after the pool competition, have a different preparation plan to our pool swimmers." Because the marathon swimmers race five days after the pool swimming competition is over in London, many teams have separate training plans, preparations and locations for their pool and open water swimming elite.

But, whether Ky and Melissa train with or without their pool teammates, they will be ready, tough and competitive in London - look for the green and gold in the lead pack.

Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Associaion

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