PR 47 - Stoychev (BUL) and Geijo (ARG) secure overall lead


Lausanne (SUI), August 9, 2011 – Nice performances were observed last week-end, for the eighth and ninth legs of the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix 2011, taking place in Lac Memphrémagog (CAN) and Sabac (SRB) on August 6 and 7, respectively.

On Saturday, nine men and seven women braved the 34km race. Buoyed by his first World Championships success in Shanghai (a gold in the 25km), Petar Stoychev (BUL) touched first in 7h25m05s, collecting his 11th straight victory in Lac Magog and the third in the series this year. Ian Van der Hulst (NED) finished second in 7h25m14s while Trent Grimsey (AUS, 7h26m31s), third, obtains his first podium appearance in a FINA competition since 2009.

Among women, Pilar Geijo (ARG) adds a fourth gold to her season tally, winning the race in convincing fashion (7h51m29s). Local hope Joanie Guillette-Simard improved her third-place finish from Lac St-Jean to silver, clocking 8h11m25s. Spain’s Esther Nunez Morera secured the bronze (8h14m41s) and continues to prove her consistence, making the podium for the sixth time this year.

In the Sunday race, the competition field was fiercer with 16 men and 15 women taking to the Sava River for the 19km effort. The race was very close, characterised by a tight pack of a dozen swimmers. Near the end, Guillermo Bertola (ARG) broke free, powered home and raced for the win (2h43m59s87). He was closely followed by Mohammed Saleh (SYR, 2h44m17s86). Russian Ivan Afanevich, who had been pace-setter for most of the race, claimed third spot (2h44m18s14).

Among women, the battle played out between Karla Sitic (CRO) and Anna Guseva (RUS), who went head-to-head for the touch, with the Croatian eventually touching first in 2h55m52s14. The Russian timed 2h56m37s91. Trailing behind was Italy’s Alessandra Romiti, who finished third in 3h05m25s83.

Guillermo Bertola (ARG), men's winner of the Sabac race in Serbia
Guillermo Bertola (ARG), men's winner of the Sabac race in Serbia

Full FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix 2011 calendar: 
Race 1: January 23, 2011 in Rosario (ARG, 15km)
Race 2: January 30, 2011 in Santa Fe-Coronda (ARG, 57km)
Race 3: February 5, 2011 in Viedma (ARG, 12km)
Race 4: February 13, 2011 in Hernandarias-Parana (ARG, 88km)
Cancelled: April 23, 2011 in Sumidero Canyon (MEX, 15km)
Race 6: June 19, 2011 in Capri-Napoli (ITA, 36km)
Race 7: July 30, 2011 in Lac St-Jean (CAN, 32km)
Race 8: August 6, 2011 in Lake Memphrémagog (CAN, 34km)
Race 9: August 7, 2011 in Sabac (SRB, 19km)

LAST RACE: August 14, 2011 in Ohrid Lake (MKD, 30km)