Gorman takes Crippen memorial swim in style

Federations News

MAY 9, 2011 - Queensland distance swimmer Melissa Gorman has continued her outstanding form in 2011, this time against world-class opposition in the US to win the Fran Crippen Safety Swim in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the weekend.

Set up to honour the late Francis ‘Fran’ Crippen, who tragically passed away during an open water swim in the UAE in October last year, Gorman was able to get the better of her US opponents Christine Jennings and Eva Fabian winning the 10km swim and sending a clear message ahead of the world championships to be held in Shanghai in July.

Dominant over the Olympic distance at this year’s Australian Championships in Penrith where she won by almost six minutes, Gorman was a gold medallist over 5km at the 2009 world championships and won bronze last year over 10km at world open water championships in Roberval, Canada.

A top ten finish at this year’s world championships in the 10km in Shanghai on July 19 would automatically qualify the 25-year-old from Brisbane for Olympic selection, while in the men’s 10km Ky Hurst and Rhys Mainstone will be the ones pushing for selection.

Swimming Australia Open Water Head Coach Greg Towle said it was an honour for the small group of Aussie swimmers to participate in such an event.

“The open water swimming community is very close and to be able to celebrate Fran Crippen’s life in this way has been a humbling experience for all, especially the athletes,” said Towle.

“To see Mel Gorman swim so well against strong opposition was really pleasing, and while it is a good sign leading into the world championships, more importantly it was great that we were able to be involved at this event in some way.”

In the men’s 10km in Ft Lauderdale Hurst finished fourth with Mainstone seventh overall, with Andrew Gammell from the USA taking the win over Sergey Fesenoko from the Ukraine and Chad La Tourett from the US.

In the dash for cash over one mile, dual Olympian from Athens and Beijing Travis Nederpelt from West Australia was too good for Peter Vanderkay and Connor Meyer of the USA, while Simon Heutinga also from the City of Perth club finished fourth.

(Swimming Australia Press Release)

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