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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thomas Lurz Heading For The Unprecedented

Thomas Lurz has a tremendous schedule at the 2013 FINA World Championships - by far the longest and most difficult of any athlete at the championships. And he is making the most of his opportunities. With a silver in the 5 km and a bronze in the 10 km two days later, the German phenom scored a trifecta with a gold-medal performance together with Isabelle Harle and Christian Reichert in the 5 km team event this morning.

The 33-year-old veteran proved his quiet form of leadership and teamwork with a winning 52:54.9 time with Lurz and Harle. Unlike a complete dependence on his decades of hard work, pushing himself daily, Lurz raced in remarkable synchronization with his teammates. And the team effort was extended to his fellow pool teammates, too. "We had a good race today and our pool swimmers were here to support," said Lurz to Greg Eggert of FINA. "I am happy that they were here to see us win. We knew that we were swimming fast, our coaches were signaling to us from outside that we were on a fast pace."

The Germans had a good position to start. By beginning one minute behind several other teams, police officer Reichert was able to sight off the buoys and the other teams. "I was in the leading position and I was looking for the right way. When I was watching the swimmers ahead of us in the first lap I knew that they were swimming very fast.."

The two men were in total synchronization and in agreement. "It really was a perfect race," commented Lurz. Despite his hard schedule, he had his teammates to help him through this race. "Since I have 10 to 15 years of hard, hard training as my base, I am able to race a total 20 km over just five days. This 5 km was hard today, but since there were three of us I think of it as only 1.7 km each, and that made it easier."

The value of teamwork - and teammates - was also reiterated by Harle who hung tough throughout the race in which the Germans absolutely dominated with a victory over 1 minute, "For me the only job I had to do was to follow Thomas and Christian. It was really nice to see our entire team on the course here to support us."

The speed in which Harle swam in this effort - 52:54 - was in stark comparison to her fifth-place finish in the individual 5 km race - 56:46. In other words, she was nearly 4 minutes faster over the exact same course swimming with her German colleagues.

Silver was captured by the Greeks, led by Spyridon Gianniotis in 54:03.3, who just barely nipped the Brazilians by two tenths of a second. Australia was fourth, Italy finished fifth followed by the Americans. The fast pace and higher expectations of the athletes was not surprising to everyone in Barcelona who has become accustomed to the higher level of swimming performed. The sport is very quickly developing and rising to higher levels of performance. Gianniotis hinted at this elevation of expectations and performance, "We realized that this event was going to be quite fast and we knew that we had to be a bit faster and a bit lucky as a team today."

But the sense of team was profound for a sport typically focused entirely on the individual. Araousou said, "This medal means a lot to me. I finished in fourth place in both of the 5km and 10km events here so I want to thank my teammates for this medal." Her teammate Fokaidis summed up the Greek silver medal performance, "We swam fast from the beginning and we had a good chemistry."

Like her German rival Harle, Araousou similarly zipped around the 5 km team pursuit race in a speed unheard of in the individual race. On Saturday, she swam a 56:45.3, just barely missing out on a bronze medal. But with her male teammates, she swam a 54:03.3, an improvement of 2 minutes 42 seconds.

Allan Do Carmo of Brazil reiterated the importance of team among all the athletes, "I felt very well pulling the group all the time. Our strategy was that Samuel [De Bona] and I would set the pace for Poliana [Okimoto] and she would swim strong and stay with us. This medal was important because we are fighting for the first place in the open water competition. I am very happy because we train a lot to compete very well here in Barcelona and our team worked so hard. The Brazilian team is having a wonderful time in this Championships and I’m very happy because I’m part of it."

Okimoto expressed her gratitude in the press conference, "The boys deserved this medal, especially because Allan has experienced ups and downs and he has struggled in the past. I feel fulfilled to be participating in this moment with them. This is a difficult event because we do not know how others are and so we have to swim very strong from the beginning."

And, like all the others in this unique mixed-gender race, the swimmers gained emotional support from each other. "It was very nice taking part in this swim with Allan and Poliana," said De Bona. "I became a little tired at the end. I looked at Poliana and felt encouraged by her presence in the race. It was very exciting and really an unforgettable moment."

The official results:

1. Germany 52:54.9
2. Greece 54:03.3
3. Brazil 54:03.5
4. Australia 54:16.1
5. Italy 54:34.0
6. United States 54:44.7
7. France 55:26.3
8. Russia 56:08.7
9. Hungary 56:09.4
10. New Zealand 56:12.0
11. South Africa 56:34.7
12. Canada 57:13.7
13. Japan 58:00.0
14. China 58:02.6
15. Argentina 58:12.0
16. Mexico 58:17.7
17. Venezuela 58:59.9
18. Tunisia 59:19.4
19. Kazakhstan 1:00:15.8
20. Ecuador 1:00:32.6
21. Egypt 1:01:02.2
22. Hong Kong 1:05:26.9

And the story will continue. Thomas Lurz has another 25 km to race on Saturday. Stay tuned.

Report by Greg Eggert of FINA.

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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The 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.

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2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac



An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An 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.

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