PR21 - Stoychev (BUL) and Geijo (ARG) triumphant in Sumidero Canyon (MEX)


Thirty-four competitors (19 men and 15 women) took the start for the fourth leg of the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix 2010, which took place on April 17, 2010, in the superb venue of Sumidero Canyon, in Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico.

Both men’s and women’s races unfolded smoothly with ideal water conditions and warm air temperature. The swimmers took the departure in the impressive “Cave of Silence” and crossed a 15km distance before reaching their destination in the hydroelectric dam “Manuel Moreno Torres”.

In the men’s field, open water legend Petar Stoychev from Bulgaria was untouchable and finished a clear 26 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. He touched first in 3h19m52s. Stoychev had swum apart from the larger pack for the first half of the race until he took the lead in a strategic move, surprising his opponents, at the 7km mark. Diego Nogueira from Spain picked up silver, timing 3h20m18s. A battle for bronze played out between Spain’s Francisco Hervas, Sergiy Fensenko from Azerbaijan and local swimmer Rodrigo Elorza, with Hervas prevailing by two seconds (3h20m27s). Fensenko settled for fourth, while Elorza took fifth. Despite their great performances in the last Argentinean leg of the Grand Prix (first and third place), the powerful Damian Blaum from Argentina and Italy’s Rodolpho Valenti finished in eighth and fourteenth place in Sumidero, respectively.

In the women’s race, the Argentinean delegation did not disappoint with ever-impressive Pilar Geijo capturing gold in 3h35m27s (third in Santa Fe and first in Hernandarias-Parana) and Antonella Bogarin taking second in 3h35m35s (also second in Rosario). The leaders alternated with Azerbaijan’s Kotsur Inha in the beginning, then sharing the first position with Australia’s Shelley Clark and Spain’s Martha Recio. Bogarin took the lead at the 10km mark but it was Geijo who prevailed in the end after a sprint finish. Recio claimed third spot in a time of 3h35m39s. Just out of medal-range was Clark, who had to settle for fourth (second in Santa Fe and third in Hernandarias-Parana). Spain’s still-competitive Esther Nunez placed fifth (first in Santa Fe and second in Hernandarias-Parana).

Race 1: January 24, 2010 in Rosario (ARG)
Race 2: January 31, 2010 in Santa Fe (ARG)
Race 3: February 7, 2010 in Hernandarias-Parana (ARG)
Race 4: April 17, 2010 in Sumidero Canyon (MEX)

NEXT RACE: June 27, 2010 in Capri-Napoli (ITA)
Race 6: July 11, 2010 in Sabac (SRB)
Race 7:  July 31, 2010 in Lac St-Jean (CAN)
Race 8:  August 7, 2010 in Lac Magog (CAN)
Race 9: August 14, 2010 in Ohrid (MKD)
Race 10:  October 27, 2010 in Dubai (UAE)

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