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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Judith van Berkel-de Njis Elected To Swimming Hall Of Fame

When men and women competed against one another in the professional marathon swims during the 1960s, there was one woman who was always a threat to win: Judith van Berkel-de Njis from the Netherlands.

After an illustrious career as a professional marathon swimmer, the Dutch legend was selected for enshrinement in a special election by the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Open Water Swimmer with other aquatic greats:

* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.) - Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.) - Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina) - Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.) - Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain) - Honor Open Water Pioneer Swimmer
* George Young (Canada) - Honor Open Water Pioneer Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.) - Honor Open Water Contributor

The Dutch native won the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation titles between 1964 and 1968 and again in 1970. She crossed the English Channel in 12 hours 15 minutes in 1969 (shown above) and won many professional marathon races over both men and women, including the 1964 49.8 km (31-mile) Lake Ontario swim in Canada, the 1965 30.5 km (19-mile) Ohrid Lake Swimming Marathon race in 8 hours 5 minutes in Macedonia, the 1965 and 1967 32 km (20-mile) Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli in 7 hours 4 minutes and 8 hours 35 minutes respectively in Italy, the 1965 40 km (25-mile) Alexandrium race in the Suez Canal in 10 hours 24 minutes in Egypt, the 1966 32 km (20-mile) Traversée Internationale du Lac St-Jean in 8 hours 38 minutes in Canada, the 1967 16 km (10-mile) Hamilton race in 4 hours 45 minutes in Canada, and the 1968 24- Heures La Tuque Relay in Canada.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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