Sunday, January 25, 2009

Italian Statement and Brazilian Battle in Santos

Italy men accomplished an unusual sweep at the first stop on the 2009 FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit.

Simone Ercoli (shown on left) won in 2:05:44.0 over countrymen Luca Ferretti (2:05:49.0) and Valerio Cleri (2:05:54.0) in the Santos 10K World Cup. With the 2009 World Swimming Championships in Rome, the tough Italian men sent out a statement that they will be a force to reckon with on their home surf.

Olympic 10K Marathon swimmers Allan do Carmo of Brazil and Luis Escobar of Mexico were only seconds behind in a typically close finish.

On the hometown front, the Brazilian women went 1-2 on the Brazilian leg of World Cup circuit. Ana Marcela Cunha (shown on left) withstood the pressure of swimming in front of thousands of patriotic fans and got the upper hand in her ongoing battle over Brazilian rival and fellow São Paulo resident Poliana Okimoto.

Ana Marcela won won this week in 2:09:49.0 over Poliano's 2:09:58.0. Nadine Pastor of Germany (shown below) was a close third in 2:10:00 over a stellar field. Olympian Martina Grimaldi of Italy was fourth just one second after Nadine with other Olympians behind (Angela Maurer of Germany in sixth, Kristel Kobrich of Chile in seventh and Cassandra Patten of England in seventeenth.

Similar to the top British pair of open water swimmers (Keri-Anne Payne and Cassandra Patten) and another top German pair of swimmers (Angela Maurer and Britta Kamrau), it seems the Brazilian pair help push each other to success. "It is difficult to help one another [in a race]," said Poliana. "I find that no country's teammates offer that help to others."

But it seems that the rivalry between Poliana and Ana Marcela is especially intense as both were apparently injured due to contact during the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in Beijing. "It was an absence of our vision, our wanting to stay in the front of the another one, but we finished by losing the [lead pack]," admitted Ana Marcela. "We are friends, but when we enter in the water, each swimmer is by herself. It is obvious that each of us wants [to win]. Each competition is a challenge."

The Maratona Aquática Internacional de Santos (International Aquatic Marathon of Saints) was also held in conjunction with the FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup when hundreds of amateur open water swimmers joined in the 1K, 2K and 4K races. Santos definitely kick-started what looks to be a great 2009 World Cup season.

Final Men's Results:
1 Simone Ercoli, Italy: 2:05:44:16
2 Luca Ferretti, Italy: 2:05:49:51
3 Valerio Cleri, Italy: 2:05:54:38
4 Allan Do Carmo, Brazil: 2:05:57:47
5 Luis Escobar, Mexico 2:05:59:53
6 Nicola Bolzonello, Italy 2:06:01:17
7 Daniel Delgadillo, Mexico 2:06:02:31
8 Ivan Lopez, Mexico: 2:06:05:50
9 Sebastien Fraysse, France: 2:06:09:25
10 Loic Branda, France: 2:06:30:36
11 Bertrand Venturi, France: 2:06:44:45
12 Simone Rufino, Italy: 2:06:48:19
13 Julien Saivage, France: 2:06:53:22
14 Arseniy Lavrentyev, Portugal: 2:06:57:45
15 Marcelo Romanelli Soares, Brazil: 2:06:59:43
16 Daniel Fogg, Great Britain: 2:07:02:14
17 Carlos Eduardo Pavao, Brazil: 2:07:05:26
18 Robin Den Boer, Netherlands: 2:07:37:13
19 Rodrigo Elorza, Mexico: 2:07:59:06
20 Petar Stoychev, Bulgaria: 2:08:05:32
21 Rok Kerin, Slovania: 2:08:09:31
22 Victor Simoes, Brazil: 2:08:13:48
23 Fabio Carlos Lima, Brazil: 2:08:17:37
24 Josip Soldo, Croatia: 2:13:29:13
25 Matheus Evangelista, Brazil: 2:13:31:44
26 Tomislav Soldo, Croatia: 2:18:15:32
27 David Davies, Great Britain: 2:19:02:26
28 Andrew Azevedo, Brazil: 2:19:27:36
29 Linecker Denardi, Brazil: 2:19:30:44
30 Samir Barel, Brazil: 2:19:41:07

Final Women's Results:
1 Ana Marcela Cunha, Brazil: 2:09:49:10
2 Poliana Okimoto, Brazil: 2:09:58:23
3 Nadine Pastor, Germany: 2:10:00:12
4 Martina Grimaldi, Italy: 2:10:01:54
5 Giorgia Consiglio, Italy: 2:10:03:10
6 Alice Franco, Italy: 2:10:03:21
7 Angela Maurer, Germany: 2:10:05:35
8 Kristel Kobrich, Chile: 2:10:06:23
9 Daniela Inacio, Portugal: 2:10:16:11
10 Andreana Cimmarusti, Italy: 2:14:34:19
11 Rachele Bruni, Italy: 2:14:55:47
12 Maaike Waaijer, Netherlands: 2:15:18:37
13 Karla Sitic, Croatia: 2:15:22:58
14 Oddette Saldivar, Mexico: 2:15:26:09
15 Pamela Engel, Brazil: 2:18:10:44
16 Monick Avelino Perez, Brazil: 2:20:54:11
17 Cassandra Patten, Great Britain: 2:21:47:50
18 Lily Anzueto, Mexico: 2:28:15:46

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