After putting on an incredible show with tremendous performances in Beijing, many of the world's top marathon swimmers returned to China for another stop on the professional FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup tour.
As was expected, the races were tight, exciting and competitive in Shantou, China on September 21st.
On the men's side, Italy's Valerio Cleri, who had just come off of a dominating 25K victory at the 2008 European Open Water Swimming Championships in Croatia, beat Egypt's up-and-coming Mazen Aziz for the gold. The bronze went to Brazil's Allan do Carmo with Russia’s Yuri Kudinov in fourth.
In an unexpected surprise, Kristel Kobrich of Chile, who did not finish the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in Beijing, won in a time of 2:10:49.77 over Larisa Ilchenko in 2:10:53.40. The bronze was captured by Angela Maurer with Alice Franco, Britta Kamrau-Corestein and Ana Marcela Cunha taking 4th, 5th and 6th respectively.
The medalists were as follows:
1. Valerio Cleri, 2:06:58
2. Mazen Mohamed Aziz, 2:07:03
3. Allan do Carmo, 2:07:05
1. Kristel Kobrich, 2:10:49
2. Larisa Ilchenko, 2:10:53
3. Angela Maurer, 2:10:55
The next race will be held on October 4th in Singapore before the tour culminates in Cancun, Mexico on October 11th.
Photo of Valerio Cleri by Giorgio Scala of Deepbluemedia.