PR 49 - Busy Weekend in Open Water Swimming: Olympic Test Event in London & FINA races in Lac Mégantic (CAN) and Lake Ohrid (MKD)


Lausanne (SUI), August 15, 2011 – In a busy weekend for open water swimmers, no less than three events took place on August 13-14: on Saturday, the Olympic Marathon Swimming Test Event was held in London, and on the other side of the Atlantic, in Lac Mégantic (CAN), was organised the fifth leg of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup 2011; on Sunday, action took place in Lake Ohrid (MKD), for the 10th and last race of the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix 2011.

In the British capital, 36 swimmers contested the 10km races (for men and women) in the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park, with the victory going to Richard Weinberger (CAN) among men and Martina Grimaldi (ITA) in the women’s field. Weinberger touched home in 1h50m49s and was closely followed by Germany’s Thomas Lurz (1h51m16s0) and Greece’s Spyridon Gianniotis (1h51m16s1). The women’s event was also thrilling, with Grimaldi sprinting for the triumph in 2h02m49s. Behind her, Eva Fabian (USA, silver) was one second slower, and Poliana Okimoto (BRA) took the bronze in 2h02m51s.

In Canada, in the 10km event in Lac Mégantic, Trent Grimsey (AUS) did a solitary race among men, winning in 2h12m47s. The minor medals went to the home heroes, with Simon Tobin getting the silver in 2h19m53s and Zac Parkes earning the bronze in 2h19m59s. The women’s race was more undecided until the finish line, but in the end Joanie Guillemette-Simard (CAN) was the fastest, winning in 2h30m51s. Closely behind, her teammate Jade Dusablon got the silver in 2h30m52s, while Heidi George (USA) was third in 2h30m58s.

Finally, in Lake Ohrid, Petar Stoychev (BUL) confirmed the overall victory in the 2011 edition of the Grand Prix, triumphing in the 30km-race in a time of 5h35m13s. Local stars Tomi Stefanoski (silver, 5h36m26s) and Evgenij Pop Acev (third, 5h36m29s) completed the podium. In the women’s field, Karla Sitic (CRO) was first in 5h52m55s, and was followed by Esther Nunez Morera (ESP, 5h59m19s) and by Pilar Geijo (ARG, 6h02m22s). Thanks to this bronze medal, the Argentinean swimmer assured the first place in the general ranking of the 2011 Grand Prix.