Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lurz Wins 10K at European Championships

After taking control of the race 1500 meters from the finish, Thomas Lurz of Germany outsprinted Evgeny Drattsev of Russia to win the men's 10K at the European Open Water Championships. Lurz, the Olympic 10K bronze medalist, won in 1:52:48.9, 1.7 seconds ahead of Drattsev. Toni Franz of Germany finished in 1:52:53.0 in a photo finish against Israel’s Michael Dmitriev.

Lurz added to his collection of gold medals as the 6-time world champion. "It was difficult to motivate myself for the European [Championships] after the Olympics, but other swimmers had the same problem," said Lurz who is coached by his brother. "The race turned out as expected for me. I let the others make the pace at first, and then took over the initiative on the last 1500 metres, protecting my lead into the finish."

The race began calmly enough (see start photo at left), but ended up in a frantic sprint towards the end. Drattsev described the race as, "My tactics was to stay with the top group on the first lap, and thereafter to push to the lead. But the group kept close together. Unfortunately I had to swim the complete race without taking any drink or food."

Upper photo of Thomas Lurz swimming towards finish pads taken by Giorgio Scala of Deepbluemedia.

Lower photo of men's lead pack in the beginning of the race in the Adriatic Sea taken by Giorgio Scala of Deepbluemedia.

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