Tuesday, October 7, 2008

First Couple of Open Water Swimming

Swimming World Magazine ran an interesting article based on an interview with Larisa Ilchenko conducted by Shelley Taylor-Smith.

The first couple of the FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup performed very well in the Singapore leg on October 4th.

Larisa Ilchenko won the women's race while her training partner and boyfriend Daniil Serebrennikov tied with Valerio Cleri of Italy in the men's race with an exact time of 2:09.20.25.

Cleri, who got fourth in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, has five FINA World Cup victories and one bronze in the 2008 pro 10K circuit. He looks to lock up the 2008 overall title after he participates in the season-ending Cancun race. The overall World Cup circuit winners, both male and female, receive an additional US$15,000.

In addition to her Olympic 10K Marathon Swim gold medal, Ilchenko has three golds and a silver during the 2008 circuit. She has been training with her boyfriend of three years, Serebrennikov, who has one gold and two silvers during the 2008 season.

In a typically exciting finish, Serebrennikov and Cleri finished a stroke ahead of Egypt's Mazen Mohamed Aziz. Aziz took bronze only one second behind in 2:09.21.08. Less than a second behind Aziz was fourth place Yury Kudinov of Russia with a time of 2:09.21.99.

Aziz has earned a medal of every color during the 2008 World Cup season, making up for his just missing qualification in the Beijing Olympic 10K.

As was expected, Ilchenko outsprinted Brazil's Ana Marcela Cunha and Angela Maurer who took the silver and bronze medals respectively. In addition to her close fourth-place finish at the Olympics, Maurer has one gold, one silver and three bronze medals during the 2008 FINA World Cup season and is leading the current rankings going into the final race in Cancun.

The results are as follows:

1. Daniil Serebrennikov in 2:09.20.251.
1. Valerio Cleri in 2:09.20.25
3. Mazen Mohamed Aziz in 2:09.21.08

1. Larisa Ilchenko in 2:16.22.00
2. Ana Marcela Cunha in 2:16.25.09
3. Angela Maurer in 2:16.27.32

Upper photo shows Ilchenko (middle) accepting her winner's check from FINA representative Shelley Taylor-Smith (to her right) at the FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup in Hong Kong on September 28th. Second-place Kristel Kobrich of Chile and third-place Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil (far left) are also shown in the photo by Shelley Taylor-Smith.

Lower photo by Shelley Taylor-Smith shows Ilchenko at a pre-race clinic in Singapore for the local students.

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