Monday, June 30, 2008
Looking Forward to Beijing from Setubal Bay
Valerio Cleri of Italy and Ana Mercela Cunha of Brazil won the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup 2008 in Setubal Bay in Portugal this weekend.
Cleri very convincingly beat Thomas Lurz of Germany and Yuri Kudinov of Russia, 1:52:46.8 to 1:54:10 and 1:55:12 respectively.
Cleri, who has won several previous World Cups, is swimming well during his Olympic preparations. In Seville at the 2008 World Open Water Swimming Championships, Cleri finished 8th in a tight pack with Evgeny Drattsev of Russia, Ky Hurst of Australia, Mark Warkentin, Gianniotis Spyridon of Greece and Brian Ryckeman of Belgium.
The women's race was much more exciting as Cunha edged out Angela Maurer of Germany and Andreina Pinto of Venezuala, 2:06:04 to 2:06:08 and 2:06:09. All three women are expected to be in the lead pack to the final sprint at the Olympics.
Cunha, who will the youngest open water swimmer in Beijing, will be joined by her more renowned Brazilian teammate, Poliana Okimoto. 16-year-old Pinto will have something to prove as she was in the top 3 for a good portion of the 2008 World Open Water Swimming Championships until her goggles were knocked off twice. Maurer, coming back from retirement, will be 33 years in August and will rely on her racing experience as much as her younger competitors rely on raw speed.
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