Claudia Ruiz, FINA Press Correspondent in Mexico

The promotion of open water swimming in Mexico is very important and in 2009 two international FINA events will be held in the country: a leg of the Open Water Swimming Grand Prix will take place at the Sumidero Canyon on April 18, and a stage of the Marathon Swimming World Cup will be held in Cancun on September 12.The first open water international competition in Mexico for 2009 is the fourth date of the Grand Prix with a distance of 15km, which will double as the XX Sumidero Canyon Marathon.

The Sumidero Canyon competition will be staged at an altitude 528m above sea level and a mean water temperature of 28°C in April.

Swimmers embark on a route mapped out on the waters of the Grijalva River in the Canyon basin, departing from "The Cave of Silence" and finishing at the pier of the hydroelectric dam "Manuel Moreno Torres".

This event promotes the natural beauty of the state of Chiapas while raising awareness about the region’s environment and ecology.

There will be a special prize for the first swimmer to break the 15km record of 3h13m15s held by Ivan Lopez (Mexico), imposed on October 18, 2008.



Current race champion Ivan Lopez (MEX) - credit: Agency Mexsport

Preliminary registration for the Grand Prix of the Sumidero Canyon is March 21.

The 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 editions of this race have been part of the FINA open water calendar. The event is organised by the Mexican Swimming Federation, the Swimming Association of the State of Chiapas and the Sports Institute in Chiapas.

Last year, the Sumidero Canyon race welcomed 30 swimmers from 15 countries including: Australia, Argentina, England, France, Spain, Macedonia, Guatemala, Panama, Russia, Japan, Italy, Bulgaria and Mexico. It was the closing event of the FINA Grand Prix.

Mexican swimmer Ivan Lopez was the 2009 winner with a time of 3h13m56s, while the fastest time in this event in the women’s field came from Britta Kamrau (GER).

Chiapas is one of the most beautiful states in Mexico, and it is also an important tourist destination and ecological reserve in America.

Mexico will then host the World Cup on September 12 in Cancun, Quintana Roo.


Sumidero Canyon - credit: Agency Mexsport