Lurz (GER) sets the pace in Cancun races
German open water swimming icon Thomas Lurz triumphed in two races in Cancun (MEX), the fourth leg of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup and third stop of the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix, taking place on April 24 and 26, respectively. Brazilian World champion (25km) Ana Marcela Cunha was the best among women in the first race while Jana Pechavona from Czech Republic took out the second.
Lurz powered home to win in 1h57m16s51 in the 10km race, closely followed by current World champion Spyridon Gianniotis from Greece, who finished in 1h57m16s55. Only a photo finish decided which one of them was the winner. Lurz was declared winner by a judges' decision. The Greek was victorious in the first three stages of the Series. Lurz' best result before Cancun was a second place in Eilat (ISR). Claiming third spot was Italy's Nicola Bolzonello, who clocked 1h57m16s56.
Spain fires in Trieste (ITA) and triumphs over Italy
Trieste (April 22) - Confirming their progress, Spain, indeed the best team in Trieste - in spite of two losses in the Preliminary Round (against Russia and Hungary) - clinched a clear cut victory over Italy in the last match of the Women's Water Polo Olympic Games Qualification Tournament. While the Italians appeared out of focus and confused, the Spaniards managed to keep their concentration and motivation, fully deserving the final success.
Russia won over Hungary for the third place 18-13. The Netherlands narrowly beat Greece after extra-times (11-10) to be fifth while Canada crushed Kazakhstan (17-2) to take the seventh place. Italy’s Tania Di Mario was the top scorer of the tournament with 22 goals. Curiously, no Spanish player ranked among the Top Ten scorers. Paradoxically, this is also a sign of strength within the greatly balanced Spanish side.
Last synchro duets decided for London Olympics
London (April 22) - The final day of the FINA Olympic Games Synchronised Swimming Qualification saw the final four places in the Duet fought out with Israel, Switzerland, Austria and Hungary securing their Olympic positions.
The second round in the Duets was focused on the Free routine and the eight entries were fighting for the four top positions. Israel began the competition drawn in first place and put in a strong performance to score an improved Free routine total of 83.780 and finished in first place with a total of 168.580.
The second position went to Switzerland who demonstrated good height and improved synchronicity to score 83.780 and a total of 165.980.
An all-mediterranean final for Spain and Italy
Trieste (April 21) - Following their respective victory against Hungary and Russia, the squads of Spain and Italy will battle for the first place in tomorrow's final of the Women's Water Polo Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in Trieste (ITA). Having successfully reached the quarter finals yesterday, the four teams have met the Olympic target to compete at the London Games this summer. In today's other two matches, Greece was the obvious winner in their clash with Kazakhstan, scoring 21-9 while the Netherlands defeated Canada 16-13.
After yesterday’s decisive quarter-finals, adrenaline was lower on day 6 of the tournament. Some teams seemed to lack motivation. Others, quite simply, did not have much energy left. Whatever the reason, today’s matches were less intense than yesterday’s, with the exception of the last match between Russia and Italy, which was thrilling and exciting until the very end.
Russia, Spain and Japan on synchro team podium, securing London berths
London (April 21) - Russia remained dominant on the penultimate day of competition of the FINA Olympic Games Synchronised Swimming Qualification as they sealed their place in the London Olympic Games.
The medallists Russia, Spain and Japan all secured their positions to compete at the London Olympic Games. Russia took to the water using the same routine that won them gold at the 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai and looked powerful from their first highlight.
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