PR34 - Grimaldi and Romiti (ITA) win among women, Lurz (GER) and Blaum (ARG) victorious in the men’s races


Nice performances were observed last week-end, for the third race of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit in Setubal Bay, Portugal, on June 26, 2010 and at the Capri-Napoli race, fifth leg of the Open Water Swimming Grand Prix, on June 27, 2010.  

In Setubal, the hot-afternoon Sado River race welcomed a record of 74 athletes (39 men and 25 women) from 21 countries. Water temperature was 18.7 °C. Swimmers had to complete five laps of a 2km diamond-shaped course, with FINA President Dr Julio Maglione starting the race in front of 500 enthusiastic spectators.

The races featured high-level competition and extraordinarily close finishes among both men and women. In the men’s race, it was a German-Bulgarian affair, with Thomas Lurz (GER) and Petar Stoychev (BUL) at the helm for the entire race. In the end, the powerful German swimmer made a victorious sprint to the gold medal, winning in 2h01m05s. A second later, open water legend Stoychev crossed the finish line. Azerbaijan’s rising talent Sergiy Fesenko (seventh in Viedma) secured the bronze, clocking 2h01m12s. Just out of medal range was Chad Ho (RSA), silver-medallist in the first two stages of the circuit, while Brazilian star Allan do Carmo, who was widely expected to medal in this competition, placed only 14th.

In the women’s race, five swimmers took the lead after the third lap, leaving a 100-metre gap between them and the rest of the pack: Olga Berenyeva (UKR), Angela Maurer (GER), Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA), Poliana Okimoto (BRA) and Martina Grimaldi (ITA). During the fourth and fifth laps, the gap deepened even more and it was 2009 Rome bronze-medallist in the same distance, Martina Grimaldi, who won the race in 2h16m31s50. Grimaldi, who placed second in the first race of the circuit, continues to make a name for herself as the World Cup unfolds. Within the same second, consistent performer Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA, first in Santos and fourth in Viedma) placed second, while veteran swimmer Angela Maurer (GER, fifth in Santos and first in Viedma) had to settle for bronze, timing 2h16m34s.

In the 36km race in Italy, 20 swimmers (12 men and eight women) from nine countries took to the water. In the men’s field, medal favourite Damian Blaum (ARG) dominated the operations, touching first in 6h58m05s. Runner-up Brendan Capell (AUS) took silver, clocking 7h02m02s, while local hope Andrea Volpini (ITA) claimed third spot.

Among women, compatriot Alessandra Romiti was a newcomer to the Grand Prix podium “club”, winning the event in 7h26m58s. Pilar Geijo (ARG), who is no stranger to the Grand Prix podium, climbed it for the fourth time this year (twice for gold, once for bronze and this time for silver). Spanish star Esther Nunez Morera too made her fourth podium appearance, for the bronze this time, in a time of 7h27m07s.

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