FINA Communication Department

Organised by the UAE Swimming Association, the second stage of the 2008 FINA Marathon Swimming World Cup took place at Ras Al-Khaimah, UAE on March 15, 2008. A total of 71 swimmers participated in the race (27 women and 44 men), which required swimming a 10km course of six laps that were 1.66km each. As reported by FINA delegate Mr. Mohie Farid (Member of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee), the course was excellent, many spectators were on-site, and there was strong local media coverage from newspapers, radio and three television stations.

The race commenced at 3:00pm for men and 3:05pm for women and the start signal was given by HE Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al-Khaimah Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Quassimy. The water was calm with a negligible current. Air temperature was 28-30°C and water temperature was 25°C with no wind. Shortly after the competition began in the men’s field, a leading pack broke away that was composed of Thomas Lurz (GER), Spyridon Gianniotis (GRE) and Valerio Cleri (ITA).

The rest of the swimmers followed the leading group for the first two laps, but in the third lap they were joined by Aziz Mazen (EGY). This formation remained more or less consistent until one kilometre before the finish, when swimmers began sprinting for the win. Lurz remained in front and took first-place, but by that time he was being followed by Danil Serebrennkov (RUS) who finished in second, while Cleri held on for the bronze. The women’s field was consistently led by four swimmers: Poliana Okimoto (BRA), Aurelie Muller (FRA), Martina Grimaldi (ITA) and Andreina Del Valle Pinto Perez (VEN), but they were closely followed by the rest of the pack. Nevertheless, Okimoto, Muller, and Grimaldi held on for the top spots, taking first, second and third respectively.

Director of the race was Mr. Ayman Saad, and Referee was Mr. Abdullah Mubark. The prize money of $20,000 was distributed at a victory ceremony, as well as an additional $20,000 that was donated by the H.E. Crown Prince as a bonus for the swimmers. For full results of the race, please visit the 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup 2008 page of the FINA website. The next stage of the series will take place on June 28, 2008 in Setubal, Portugal.