MSWC 2014: Grimaldi (ITA) and Lurz (GER) set the pace in Cancun
Martina Grimaldi (ITA) and Thomas Lurz (GER) dominated the second stop of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup 2014 in Cancun (MEX), where a total 75 swimmers, 34 women and 41 men from 20 countries, took the plunge.
In the women's race, Martina Grimaldi of Italy, 2012 Olympic bronze medallist, emerged victorious in 2h12m37s. Brazilians Poliana Okimoto, reigning World champion and winner of Race 1 in Viedma, and Ana Marcela Cunha placed second and third, respectively in 2h12m38s and in 2h12m39s.
German great Thomas Lurz, multi Olympic and World medallist, emerged from a fiercely competitive field to touch home in 1h56m44s. Italy's Simone Ruffini was second in 1h56m45s while Brazilian Diogo Villarinho took third, clocking 1h56m46s.
"I always enjoy coming to Cancun. The competition was very good, my strategy was to be in the leading group, hide and at the end when there was a half turn and attack and get the better of me," said Martina Grimaldi, who also won the Mexican leg of the FINA 10km circuit in 2013.
World champion Poliana Okimoto (BRA) said: "There was a lot of wind and waves, that was not good for me, but the result is spectacular given the race conditions. You must train very hard to swim in open water."
Women's podium in Cancun - credit: Israel Nunez
Post race, bronze medallist Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) reflected on her performance: "I'm happy to be on the podium. It was a good test for me. Brazilian swimmers want to leave a strong impression to represent the country in Rio 2016."
Winner among men Thomas Lurz (GER), said: "I think it was a tough race for the strong waves of the sea, but I am satisfied with the result. I like to come every year to Mexico. It's my first win of 2014 and I hope to come many more."
On being on top for so long, he added: "This is like the last meters before reaching the goal, these are the most difficult, but I try to remain successful."
"Everything was excellent. I'm happy with the result and to have remained so close to Lurz," said Simone Ruffini (ITA).