Open Water, Day 5: Martina Grimaldi of Italy wins women's 25km
Martina Grimaldi of Italy won her first title in the 25km in Moll de la Fusta harbour narrowly beating Angela Maurer of Germany. In the 10km distance Grimaldi owns a complete set of open water medals. She was the 10km champion in the 2010 Open water world championships in Roberval, Canada, finished second in the 2011 edition of the FINA World Swimming Championships in Shanghai, and earned a bronze in her own country during the Rome World Championships in 2009.
Maurer hoped to celebrate her 38th birthday today with a gold medal but will have to settle for her second consecutive silver medal in this event. The German swimmer won her first medal in the 25km, a bronze in the very first edition of the FINA Open Water Swimming Championships in Honolulu. Maurer was the world champion in this distance four years ago in the 2009 FINA World Swimming Championships in Rome. Two years ago she earned a silver medal in this event in Shanghai. In this same harbour 10 years Maurer earned a silver medal finishing another Italian swimmer, Viola Valli in the 10K.
Open Water, Day 5: Thomas Lurz wins 25km, his second gold and fourth in Barcelona
Germany's Thomas Lurz, 33 years old, won his first title in the 25km event to become the only male swimmer to have won a gold medal in every open water discipline. "I'm really satisfied with this gold. Now I have been at the top of the podium at every distance in the open water world championships," said the swimmer, who raced a total of 45km, winning a medal in each of four open water events in the last seven days.
Brian Ryckeman of Belgium finished four tenths of a second behind the German swimmer. Russia's Evgeniy Drattcev earned a bronze medal. Russia has won a record 16 world championship medals in 16 editions of FINA open water swimming championships.
Open Water, Day 4: Thomas Lurz powers his German teammates to gold in Team 5km event
The team from Germany fueled by 33 year old Thomas Lurz captured the 5km Team event today. Isabelle Harle and Christian Reichert were part of the gold medal winning German team finishing in 52:54.9. Lurz now has a complete set of medals after having previously place second in the 5km on Saturday and third in the 10km on Monday. In the 2011 Shanghai edition the German team, which include Lurz and Harle, placed third.
Spyridon Gianniotis led the Greek team to their silver medal performance posting a time of 54:03.3, more than a minute slower than the German champions. Gianniotis won the Olympic gold medal in the 10km at the London Olympic Games and was the winner of Monday's 10km in Barcelona. Kalliopi Araouzou who finished fourth in both the women's 5km and 10km and Antonios Fokaidis joined in his team's efforts.
Open Water, Day 3: Brazil's Okimoto and Cunha finish 1-2 in women's 10km
Poliana Okimoto Cintra (BRA) and Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) signaled Brazil's intentions to be the faces of women's open water swimming in the lead up to the next Olympic Games. Okimoto Cintra (1:58.19.2) touched just three tenths of a second ahead of her teammate (1:58.19.5) in the women's 10km race. Angela Maurer of Germany (1:58.20.2) finished a full second behind the winner to claim a bronze medal. For the Brazilian swimmers it was second medal for each at these World Championships. Okimoto Cintra finished second to Haley Anderson (USA) in Saturday's 5km race, Cunha earned a bronze medal in that race.
"I'm so excited. I have been training for this medal, even in freezing water, I have trained for this race, so this medal is pricelss. I am really happy to have my second medal in these World Championships. I felt strong during the race," said Okimoto Cintra. Okimoto Cintra won two silver medals in 5km and 10km at the 2006 FINA Open Water World Championships in Naples, Italy.
Open Water, Day 2: Reigning world champion Gianniotis (GRE) wins men's 10km
Reigning world champion Spyridon Gianniotis (GRE) soundly defeated two of his toughest rivals to win today's 10k event in Moll de la Fusta harbour. The Greek athlete is only the second male to successfully defend his world title, and the first since Vladimir Dyatchin (RUS) in 2008.
In second place was Thomas Lurz (GER) was hoping to become the first man to win the event four times. Taking the bronze medal was Oussama Mellouli (TUN) who won the 5km race on Saturday, Lurz finished third. Gianniotis was fresh for today's 10km race as he did not contest the 5km held just 48 hours.
Open Water, Day 1: Olympic champion Mellouli (TUN) is the best in the 5km
The Olympic 10km champion Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia won his first FINA World Championship title in the 5km using his trademark "jets" to sprint to the touch-pad in the final 100 metres of the race. Mellouli unseated Thomas Lurz of Germany who has dominated the 5km event since his first title in 2005's Montreal World Championships.
Mellouli had planned to take a year off after the Olympics. "I didn't expect to win the 5km. I am really happy with the results. I did take six months off and got back into training not too long ago. To be on top of the world is quite exciting for me."
Open Water, Day 1: USA's Haley Anderson wins women's 5km
Haley Anderson of the USA won the women's 5km race outsprinting Brazilian Poliana Okimoto Cintra in the final 100 metres. Anderson timed her stroke cycle perfectly and reached for the touch-pad just ahead of the Brazilian who was leading the 42 swimmers for most of the final 1500m. The margin of victory between the swimmers was 0.2 seconds; the American finished in a time of 56.34.2.
Anderson, the silver medallist in the 10km Olympic Marathon at last year’s London Olympic Games, was the surprise leader of portions of the first lap: "I didn't realise that I was going to be in the lead but when you are the leader you are in control of everyone behind you. If I drift off course I take them with me." Okimoto led the race for most of the second lap with Anderson trailing by a full body length.
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