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2016 WOWSA Man of the Year – Nejib Belhedi
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Tuesday, August 7, 2012
The Thrill Of Victory, The Agony Of Defeat In The Open Water
As the marathon runners ran themselves to exhaustion, they crossed the finish line completely spent, occasionally collapsing to the ground. Each one of them was shown clearly and distinctively as they crossed the border.
Millions of spectator simultaneously witnessed the grimaces of their faces after 2 hours of demonstrable grit that they showed over the 42km course that wound its way around London.
Marathon running officials confirmed the athletes’ times and final places with immediacy and ease. There was no controversies, no yellow cards and no disqualifications. Neither was there any close finishes or need to use finish cameras.
Tiki Gelana won the women’s marathon in 2:23:07 as she finished a comfortable 5 seconds ahead of silver medalist Priscah Leptoo and bronze medalist Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova in 22 seconds. The separation between the gold, silver and bronze medalists – and the next 25 athletes who completed the 42km course behind them – was clearly visible to the spectators and worldwide television audience.
That will not be the case in the Olympic marathon swim where the difference between the medalists and the top 10 will be hard to distinguish with the naked eye. For several athletes, it will frankly be impossible to identify the placing without the aid of cameras and replays.
It will be that close.
Without the aid of high-speed cameras of Omega, the timing company, and instant replay by the television broadcasters, spectators will not be able to clearly make out what athletes finish in the top 10.
It will take some time for the race officials to confirm the final placing. A trio of officials will review the finish frame-by-frame from at least three different camera angles. They will be discussions and differences of opinions by the officials that will be objectively and thoroughly discussed and decided – outside of the review of the television audience and athletes.
Many times in professional marathon swims, it takes a long time to confirm the results of the final positions.
Let’s hope the world is not kept waiting and the officials can determine the positions relatively quickly.
But even if it takes time, especially if it takes lot of time to make a final decision, this difference between marathon running and marathon swimming will call attention to how close and how exciting the sport of open water swimming can be.
Frankly, one good thing that can happen to the sport is if the race for gold, silver and bronze is so close.
In this case, the race judges and officials must take plenty of time to come to a decision. As the judges and head referee visually confirm the final results, the television broadcasters will show the replay of the finish over and over again while the announcers describe the situation, athletes and decision-making process.
Those images of athletes swimming shoulder-to-shoulders and reaching up to touch the finish pads in a photo-finish will be another way for the sporting world to appreciate the sport.
Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.
But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.
In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...
Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.