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2016 WOWSA AWARDS

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The World Open Water Swimming Association is pleased to present the 2016 WOWSA Award Nominees.

The nominees are presented in the following four categories:

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Induction Ceremonies To Be Delayed

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The International Swimming Hall of Fame has its new headquarters in Santa Clara, California.

The city of Santa Clara will postpone its International Swimming Hall of Fame induction ceremonies from June to either October or November due to an unexpected conflict with a major soccer tournament, Copa America Centenario.

The International Swimming Hall of Fame CEO Bruce Wigo explained the situation to Swimming World Magazine, “The City of Santa Clara and Levi Stadium were selected by CONCACAF, the continental governing body for association football (soccer) in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, to host the Copa America. We have tried to work things out, but realize that the impact of these games and the crowds they will attract will just be too disruptive for our attendees as the events were scheduled to take place in the same general area as Levi Stadium.”

The Class of 2016 to be honored in Santa Clara cludes Olympic 10K Marathon Swim gold medalist Larisa Ilchenko from Russia [shown above] and marathon swimmers Desmond Renford from Australia and Monique Wildschut from the Netherlands.

The ISHOF wrote about Ilchenko, "Russian long distance swimmer, Larisa Ilchenko has won eight World Championships and gold at the 2008 Olympic Games at age 19. She has dominated long distance swimming since her first World Championship in Dubai in 2004, where, aged just 16, she won by over 30 seconds. She won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in the 10 km, using her trademark closing kick after being behind the leaders for 9,900 of the 10,000 swim."

Previously inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honour Swimmer in the Class of 2011, the personable Russian star won a total of eight FINA World Championships between 2005 and 2008 - all coming from behind in the very last part of the race. She dramatically used her kick, called The Ilchenko, to outsprint Keri-Anne Payne and Cassandra Patton at the inaugural 10 km marathon swim at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games at the age 19.

Starting her winning ways at the age of 16, she won her world championships in all kinds of venues and against all comers. Her first was in Dubai in a river in 2004, the next was in a rowing basin in Montreal in 2005. She followed that up with 2 golds in the Mediterranean Sea in Napoli, Italy in 2006. In 2007, she won in rough conditions swimming over swarms of jellyfish in St. Kilda Beach in Port Phillip, Melbourne, Australia, and in 2008, she was in Sevilla, Spain.

She announced her retirement in 2010, but she has not drifted too far away from the open water community. The young mother currently organizes the 3-stage Champions Cup in Moscow, Lipetsk and Volgograd.

Ilchenko's Career Highlights:

2004 FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships - 5 km in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Gold: Larisa Ilchenko (Russia) 1:03:11.9
Silver: Ksenia Popova (Russia) 1:03:43.8
Bronze: Sara McLarty (USA) 1:03:52.9

2005 FINA World Swimming Championships - 5 km in Montreal, Canada
Gold: Larisa Ilchenko (Russia) 55:40.1
Silver: Margy Keefe (USA) 55:44.3
Bronze: Edith van Dijk (Netherlands) 55:46.6

2006 FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships - 5 km in Napoli, Italy
Gold: Larisa Ilchenko (Russia) 1:08:19.7
Silver: Poliana Okimoto (Brazil) 1:08:27.6
Bronze: Britta Kamrau-Corestein (Germany) 1:08:46.3

2006 FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships - 10 km in Napoli, Italy
Gold: Larisa Ilchenko (Russia) 2:19:40.9
Silver: Poliana Okimoto (Brazil) 2:19:59.3
Bronze: Ksenia Popova (Russia) 2:19:59.8

2007 FINA World Swimming Championships - 5 km in Melbourne, Australia
Gold: Larisa Ilchenko (Russia) 1:00:41.3
Silver: Ekaterina Seliverstova (Russia) 1:00:43.6
Bronze: Kate Brookes-Peterson (Australia) 1:00:47.9

2007 FINA World Swimming Championships - 10 km in Melbourne, Australia
Gold: Larisa Ilchenko (Russia) 2:03:57.9
Silver: Cassandra Patten (Great Britain) 2:03:58.9
Bronze: Kate Brookes-Peterson (Australia) 2:03:59.5

2008 FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships - 5 km in Sevilla, Spain
Gold: Larisa Ilchenko (Russia) 1:00:04.6
Silver: Ekaterina Seliverstova (Russia) 1:00:07.8
Bronze: Chloe Sutton (USA) 1:00:09.9

2008 FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships - 10 km in Sevilla, Spain
Gold: Larisa Ilchenko (Russia) 2:02:02.7
Silver: Cassandra Patten (Great Britain) 2:02:05.8
Bronze: Yurema Requena (Spain) 2:02:07.2

2008 Beijing Olympic Games Women's Results
Gold: Larisa Ilchenko (Russia) 1:59:27.7
Silver: Keri-Anne Payne (Great Britain) 1:59:29.2
Bronze: Cassandra Patten (Great Britain) 1:59:31.0
4. Angela Maurer (Germany) 1:59:31.9
5. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil) 1:59:36.8
6. Swann Oberson (Switzerland) 1:59:36.9
7. Poliana Okimoto (Brazil) 1:59:37.4
8. Jana Pechanová (Czech Republic) 1:59:39.7
9. Andreína del Valle Pinto Pérez (Venezuela) 1:59:40.0
10. Martina Grimaldi (Italy) 1:59:40.7
11. Marianna Lymperta (Greece) 1:59:42.3
12. Teja Zupan (Slovenia) 1:59:43.7
13. Yurema Requena (Spain) 1:59:46.9
14. Edith van Dijk (Netherlands) 2:00:02.8
15. Melissa Gorman (Australia) 2:00:33.6
16. Natalie du Toit South Africa 2:00:49.9
17. Daniela Inácio (Portugal) 2:00:59.0
18. Eva Berglund (Sweden) 2:01:05.0
19. Fang Yanqiao (China) 2:01:07.9
20. Imelda Martínez (Mexico) 2:01:07.9
21. Aurelie Muller (France) 2:02:04.1
22. Chloe Sutton (United States) 2:02:13.6
23. Natalya Samorodina (Ukraine) 2:10:41.6
24. Antonella Bogarin (Argentina) 2:11:35.9
DNF Kristel Köbrich (Chile)

2009 FINA World Swimming Championships - 5 km in Ostia, Rome, Italy
Gold: Melissa Gorman (Australia)
Silver: Larisa Ilchenko (Russia)
Bronze: Poliana Okimoto (Brazil)

Among the 17 luminaries to be honored, Desmond Robert Renford, M.B.E. of Australia was selected posthumously.

The ISHOF wrote about the Australian who was perfect - going 19 for 19 in his English Channel attempts. "Des Renford was born in Australia on the 52nd anniversary of the very first Channel swim, achieved in 1875 by Matthew Webb. He took up marathon swimming at the age of 39 and from 1975 to part of 1980, he crossed the English Channel 19 times in 19 attempts and wore the title King of the Channel®, which is accorded the swimmer with the most crossings.

For his exploits in the Channel, he was awarded the M.B.E., Order of the British Empire. Australians remember their Channel swimming sporting legend, who died in 1999, through the Des Renford Aquatic and Leisure Center in Marouba, a suburb of Sydney
."

His English Channel crossings included three in 10 days in 1980.

English Channel Crossing Career:
1. August 9th 1970: E/F in 13 hours 9 minutes with pilot R. T. Brickell, observer F. Gill
2. 27 August 27th 1970: E/F in 12 hours 55 minutes with pilot R. T. Brickell, observer F. Gill
3. July 22nd 1972: F/E in 13 hours 30 minutes with pilot R. T. Brickell, observer M. Morford
4. August 19th 1972: E/F in 12 hours 59 minutes with pilot R. T. Brickell, observer P. Frayne
5. August 13th 1974: E/F in 12 hours 41 minutes with pilot V. Noakes, observer R. Scott
6. September 11th 1974: E/F in 14 hours 2 minutes with pilot V. Noakes, observer C. Dewberry
7. July 29th 1975: F/E in 14 hours 22 minutes with pilot B. Reed, observer M. Morford
8. August 3rd 1975 E/F in 13 hours 8 minutes with pilot R. T. Brickell, observer R.W. Brickell
9. September 1st 1975: E/F in 13 hours 12 minutes with pilot R. T. Brickell, observer R.W. Brickell
10. August 4th 1976: E/F in 12 hours 2 minutes with pilot R. T. Brickell, observer P. Cox
11. July 21st 1977: E/F in 13 hours 35 minutes with with pilot R. T. Brickell, observer R.W. Brickell
12. August 12th 1978: E/F in 12 hours 33 minutes with pilot V. Noakes, observer R. Scott
13. August 22nd 1978: E/F in 14 hours 1 minute with pilot B. Wellard on the New Venture
14. August 4th 1979: E/F in 11 hours 42 minutes with pilot R. T. Brickell, observer A. Floyd
15. August 28th 1979: E/F in 14 hours 9 minutes with pilot C. Cook on the Telstar
16. September 4th 1979: E/F in 12 hours 43 minutes with pilot V. Noakes, observer F. Richards
17. August 8th 1980: E/F in 14 hours 54 minutes with pilot V. Noakes, observer J. Nicholas
18. August 18 1980: E/F in 15 hours 10 minutes with pilot R. T. Brickell, observer R. Brickell
19. August 23rd 1980: E/F in 13 hours 48 minutes with pilot P. Reed, observer M. Palmer



The ISHOF wrote about Wildschut's marathon swimming record, "Monique Wildschut, a tall and powerful swimmer from the Netherlands, was the six-time World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation champion from 1983 to 1988. In 1983 she was the overall winner of the Atlantic City Marathon and was second overall in the 64 km Traversée Internationale du Lac St-Jean in Canada. As a solo swimmer, she crossed the English Channel twice and had the fastest swim of the year in 1984.."

Wildschut from the Netherlands was previously inducted in 1993 as an Honour Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame for both her competitive victories and fast solo channel crossings.

Wildschut dominated the women’s marathon swimming professional circuit from the mid-1980’s to the early 1990’s when she was the 6-time World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation champion from 1983 to 1988. She also crossed the English Channel twice: first in 1982 in 8 hours 44 minutes and then in 1984 in the fastest swim of the year in 8 hours 19 minutes.

She was also the fastest woman at the 32 km (20-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean in Canada in 7 hours 46 minutes in 1983 and finished second overall at the 64 km (40-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean double-crossing race in 17 hours 28 minutes in 1989. Wildschut swam in an era where professional marathon swimmers simply swam from point to point without drafting and positioning in large packs - and women went head-to-head against the men.

She won the 1983 Atlantic City Marathon Swim in Absecon Island in New Jersey and set the Traversée Internationale du lac Memphrémagog record with a new women’s record of 9 hours 41 minutes 11 seconds in 1984.

She recently authored a 140-page book Ontberingen van een marathonzwemster (or Rigors of a marathon swimmer in English) that was released in 2015 (see here).

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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