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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Poliana Okimoto, Ana Marcela Cunha Take 10K Gold-Silver

As predicted, the 52 women from 32 countries are wasting are no time. At the start of today's 10 km world championship race in Barcelona, the women are characteristically efficient, focused, and fast.

None perhaps more so than 2-time Olympian Keri-Anne Payne. After marriage, a lay-off, and the disappointment of her fourth place finish in the 10K marathon swim at the 2012 London Olympics, Payne is back and swimming well.

But so is her arch-rival Éva Risztov, the Hungarian who upset Payne in London (shown drinking).

Taking a page out of the British playbook, Risztov blasted out towards the front and pushed the pace throughout the 10 km 6-loop race in the Serpentine last summer. This summer in Barcelona, she is sticking to the plan under the flat-water, no-wind conditions this afternoon.

Right from the start, the two superstars looked streamlined and confident in their lead-from-the-front strategies, navigational skills, and tactical plans. But unlike London's relatively straight 6-loop course, the Spaniards laid out a more technically difficult course with many more turns that place demand on the women's navigational IQ and ability to position and pace themselves for 2 hours.

All the expected front-runners are sticking to their game plan. Christine Jennings, Angela Maurer, Melissa Gorman, Olga Beresnyeva and a whole crew of fast-flying women are cruising behind the Hungarian and British Olympians during the first half. The women swam the first 2 km at around 24 minutes to give an idea of their speed and intent to make this race hurt (aerobically).

Relatively speaking, the scrum at the feeding platforms was mellow and the swimmers separated themselves in an orderly scramble in order to get their feeds in the sweltering conditions (30ºC air, 26ºC water was reported). Yet yellow cards have been called with the first given to Poliana Okimoto of Brazil.

At the 5.1 km mark, Risztov hit at 59:39 with others like the Italian pair of Martina Grimaldi and Rachele Bruni moving up on the heels of the leaders.

The first half was like the first few scenes of a drama. But the second half was when the real drama began. The lack of winds in the first half transformed to choppy waters in the second half. The pack started to break up under the relentless pace set forth by the Olympic champion Risztov. Kalliopi Araouzou, the teammate of her better known Greek teammate Marianna Lymperta, moved up to the leaders on the third loop.

As Araouzou surged forward, much of the lead pack broke apart as the water churned up from the steadily increasing winds and swells. The speed of the thinned-out lead pack was impressive with Payne and crew surrounded by a mass of officials and media in a tight flotilla on either side of the women. Whistles were blown, yellow cards given, and the physicality started to take its toll as the pack hit 6,000 meters in 1 hour 18 minutes.

Araouzou hung tough with the superstars of the sport with every intention to replicate the Greek victory of Spyridon Gianniotis in yesterday's men's race. Jockeying continued as Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil, as intense as athletes come, made her presence known in the front. Surge and sprint, surge and sprint, the endless attacks lead to the pack being reduced to Araouzou, Risztov, and Payne with 30 minutes to race. Araouzou would move and Payne would counter. But the pack lurked behind at every stroke. There would be no early breakaway in today's race.

Chop and swell. Up and down. Left and right. The women all went at each other like heavyweights taking punches directly to the gut and head. Cunha, Araouzou, and Payne were at the head of the arrow, but 14 more women were drafting right behind with hearts pumping wildly and lungs screaming for air. The pain of pushing must have been nearly unbearable. As the women turned back into the port for the final sprint, it was anyone's race to take control.

Cunha moves, Payne fades. Then Maurer moves up together with Risztov and Poliana Okimoto of Brazil. Like musical chairs in a desperate game, the movement within the pack was unpredictable as the crowds on the coastline went wild. Then the Brazilian pair turned on their jets - Cunha and Okimoto - as they have so often done together both in domestic Brazilian competitions and in international races. But the race was not over yet as 37-year-old Maurer, a veteran of dozens of championships and newcomer 15-year-old American Rebecca Mann hung closely behind the South American duo in the second tier with less than 200 meters to go.

But it was Brazil's day today. Okimoto, one of the most slender and thinnest women at these championships, kept pressing ahead faster and faster. With a tremendous kick, she touched out her rival for a 1-2 Brazilian finish just ahead of Germany' venerable veteran Maurer.

Like Gianniotis did in the men's race yesterday, both Okimoto and Cunha played their cards right. They pushed when they had to and they made it hurt when necessary. It was a race of champions, from top to bottom. But the pair from Brazil swam extraordinarily well and courageously to stand proud on the world 10 km podium today.

The results show how close and how competitive these women were in one of the most competitive races, top to bottom, in FINA open water swimming history:

1. Poliana Okimoto (BRA) 1:58:19.2
2. Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) 1:58:19.5
3. Angela Maurer (GER) 1:58:20.2
4. Kalliopi Araouzou (GRE) 1:58:21.2
5. Anna Olasz (HUN) 1:58:22.4
6. Ophelie Aspord (FRA) 1:58:23.2
7. Yanqiao Fang (CHN) 1:58:23.2
8. Rebecca Mann (USA) 1:58:23.4
9. Éva Risztov (HUN) 1:58:23.4
10. Christine Jennings (USA) 1:58:23.6
11. Elizaveta Gorshkova (RUS) 1:58:24.3
12. Martina Grimaldi (ITA) 1:58:24.9
13. Yumi Kida (JPN) 1:58:25.8
14. Keri-Anne Payne (GBR) 1:58:25.8
15. Yurema Requena Juarez (ESP) 1:58:26.4
16. Svenja Theresa Zihsler (GER) 1:58:25.8
17. Erika Villaécija García (ESP) 1:58:27.8
18. Olga Beresnyeva (UKR) 1:58:27.9
19. Zsofia Balazs (CAN) 1:58:28.5
20. Melissa Gorman (AUS) 1:58:30.9
21. Marianna Lymperta (GRE) 1:58:33.0
22. Lizeth Rueda Santos (MEX) 1:58:36.6
23. Cara Baker (NZL) 1:58:38.5
24. Vicenia Navarro (VEN) 1:58:38.5
25. Celia Barrot (FRA) 1:58:41.8
26. Yu Shi (CHN) 1:58:43.8
27. Florencia Mazzei Villegas (ARG) 1:58:43.9
28. Silvie Rybářová (CZE) 1:58:55.3
29. Heidi Gan (MAS) 1:59:01.4
30. Chelsea Gubecka (AUS) 1:59:16.3
31. Rachele Bruni (ITA) 2:00:03.2
32. Paola Perez (VEN) 2:00:36.8
33. Danielle Huskisson (GBR) 2:01:31.5
34. Emma Robinson (NZL) 2:01:47.6
35. Nadine Williams (CAN) 2:01:50.4
36. Julia Lucila Arino (ARG) 2:02:37.8
37. Barbora Picková (CZE) 2:04:02.8
38. Nataly Rosalia Caldas Calle (ECU) 2:04:28.8
39. Alexandra Sokolova (RUS) 2:04:45.3
40. Valerie Gruest (GUA) 2:04:45.3
41. Angélica André (POR) 2:04:45.4
42. Laila El Basiouny (EGY) 2:04:45.4
43. Melissa Villaseñor Reyes (MEX) 2:05:21.1
44. Xeniya Romanchuk (KAZ) 2:05:21.1
45. Mahina Valdivia Dannenberg (CHI) 2:13:54.9
46. Clarice Le Roux (RSA) 2:15:35.7
47. Fiona On Yi Chan (HKG) 2:17:39.6
48. Mariya Ivanova (KAZ) 2:19:02.6
49. Hannah Hang Fung Li (HKG) 2:25:44.5
Risa Andriani Permana (INA) OTL
Poorva Kiran Shetye (IND) OTL
Michelle Weber (RSA) DNS
Karla Šitić (CRO) DNS



Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming

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The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Learn more...
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE

The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is a conference on the sport of open water swimming, marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.

The conference which has been attended by enthusiasts and luminaries from 6 continents, is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.

The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming, and to meet and discuss the sport among swimmers, coaches, administrators, event organizers, sponsors, vendors, officials, escort pilots, and volunteers from kayakers to safety personnel.

Dozens of presentations at the 2014 Conference at the Mount Stuart House cover numerous aspects of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn and share the latest trends, race tactics, training modalities, swimming techniques, equipment, race organization, logistics, operations, and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive athlete, fitness swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter, sponsor or referee.

The conference was first held in Long Beach, California as part of the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships. It has since been held on the Queen Mary in California, at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City, and in Cork, Ireland. This year in September, it comes to another iconic location, the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.

"The Global Open Water Swimming Conference was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, race directors, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons," said founder Steven Munatones. "Other swimming conferences usually offering nothing on open water swimming or perhaps a speech or two, but we thought open water swimming deserves its own global conference. It is great that the community shares its information via the online social network, but there is nothing like meeting other open water swimming enthusiasts face-to-face and talking about the sport from morning to night."

Speakers at the conference include English Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, record holders, renowned coaches, world champions, professional marathon swimmers, renowned race directors, officials and administrators from the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

"Because the audience is passionate and educated about the sport and its finest practitioners, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference is also the location of the induction ceremonies for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the annual WOWSA Awards that recognize the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also occasionally presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their career."

The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme

Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]

Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland

Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance

Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony

Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute

The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:

* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year

For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:

* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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