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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mano-a-Man In The 5K - Thomas Lurz vs. Ossama Mellouli

At the upcoming FINA World Championships starting next week in Barcelona, there is going to be many battles that are strategic and tactical. New stars will emerge and up-and-comers will arrive.

But if there is one race that will more than likely showcase the pre-race favorites, it will be the men's 5 km race.

While the race will still require over 50 minutes of racing, positioning, pacing, navigating, feeding, sighting, feigning, sprinting, and plain ol' physicality, it will be essentially - at least in the open water world - be one big sprint between a couple of superstars.

The 5 km starting at the Port of Barcelona will feature two of the biggest ambassadors of the sport: Thomas Lurz of Germany who has long dominated the 5 km distance on the world's stage and his 2012 Olympic 10K marathon swimming nemisis, Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia.

Outside of American Andrew Gemmell, Greek Spyridon Gianniotis, and a small handful of others, it is hard to imagine any swimmers keeping up with these two decorated swimmers towards the end of the race. The mighty duo have everything necessary to stand a top the podium: power, speed, and stamina. And even more valuable in the highest echelon of the sport, Lurz and Mellouli are patient and savvy, instinctively knowing when best to strike, feign, and sprint.

While upsets occasionally happen, in this particular open water sprint duel, it is highly unlikely. Watch the race on next Saturday, July 20th.

What's more to appreciate about this 5 km race? The race provides a great overview of the health and growth of the sport of open water swimming. While it features swimmers from traditional swimming hotbeds like Damien Cattin-Vidal of France and Samuel De Bona of Brazil as well as Olympic veterans and Russian teammates like Evgeni Drattcev and Sergey Bolshakov, it also showcases swimmers from smaller nations around the world like Ahmad M.T. Jebril of Palestine and Hayden Vickers of the Cook Islands. They may not have a shot at the podium or even a top 25 finish, but they stand proudly on the starting pontoon and give it their all from beginning to end.

1. Ahmed Adam Abdelrahman (SUDAN)
2. Luis Rogerio Arapiraca (BRAZIL)
3. Ventsislav Aydarski (BULGARIA)
4. Sergey Bolshakov (RUSSIA)
5. Walter Rodrigo Caballero Quilla (BOLIVIA)
6. Damien Cattin-Vidal (FRANCE)
7. Igor Chervynskiy (UKRAINE)
8. Samuel De Bona (BRAZIL)
9. Evgeni Drattcev (RUSSIA)
10. Ivan Alejandro Endrica Ochoa (ECUADOR)
11. Santiago Paul Enderica Salgado (ECUADOR)
12. Luca Ferretti (ITALY)
13. Antonios Fokaidis (GREECE)
14. Vasco Gaspar (PORTUGAL)
15. Andrew Gemmell (USA)
16. Spyridon Gianniotis (GREECE)
17. Philippe Guertin (CANADA)
18. Abdul Hady (INDONESIA)
19. Eric Hedlin (CANADA)
20. Chad Ho (SOUTH AFRICA)
21. Youssef Hossameldeen (EGYPT)
22. Ahmad M.T. Jebril (PALESTINE)
23. Vitaliy Khudyakov (KAZAKHSTAN)
24. Yuto Kobayashi (JAPAN)
25. Ján Kútnik (CZECH REPUBLIC)
26. Yuanpeng Lang (CHINA)
27. Chun Hong Li (HONG KONG)
28. Thomas Lurz (GERMANY)
29. Rhys Mainstone-Hodson (AUSTRALIA)
30. Erwin Maldonado (VENEZUELA)
31. Daniel Marais (SOUTH AFRICA)
32. Oussama Mellouli (TUNISIA)
33. Manuel Meneses (GUATEMALA)
34. Amgad Mesad Elsaroor (SUDAN)
35. Francisco Montero (COSTA RICA)
36. Rob Muffels (GERMANY)
37. Mark Papp (HUNGARY)
38. Ching Leung Sunny Poon (HONG KONG)
39. Jarrod Poort (AUSTRALIA)
40. Jan Pošmourný (CZECH REPUBLIC)
41. Kane Radford (NEW ZEALAND)
42. Adel Ragab (EGYPT)
43. Miguel Angel Rozas Lopez (SPAIN)
44. Phillip Ryan (NEW ZEALAND)
45. Sean Ryan (UNITED STATES)
46. Yuval Safra (ISRAEL)
47. Rodolfo Sanchez (COSTA RICA)
48. Johndry Segovia (VENEZUELA)
49. Seifeddine Sghair (TUNISIA)
50. Thomas Snelson Kilbride (SPAIN)
51. Igor Snitko (UKRAINE)
52. Vladimir Tolikin (KAZAKHSTAN)
53. Federico Vanelli (ITALY)
54. Enzo Vial-Collet (FRANCE)
55. Hayden Vickers (COOK ISLANDS)
56. Vicente Vidal Kubiersky (CHILE)
57. Wenchao Xu (CHINA)

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming

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