Two of the world's greatest marathon swimmers, Russians Yuri Kudinov (shown on left) and Natalia Pankina are two more confirmed participants in the Great Channel Swim across the English Channel in August.
Yuri is a powerful swimmer with a proven record of success: a 7:06 crossing of the English Channel in 2007 (shown on left) and 3 gold medals in the 25K world championships in 2001, 2003 and 2007.
In the world of open water swimming, there is perhaps no greater rematch than that of Yuri against Channel record holder Petar Stoychev.
Natalia will present a very formidable competitor to the other professional marathon women in the field: Cassandra Patten of Great Britain, Stefanie Biller of Germany and Shelley Clark of Australia. Natalia not only has a successful English Channel swim under her belts - unlike her competitors - in a 8:10 crossing after fighting against tide just near Cap Gris-Nez, but she also very importantly has experienced an unsuccessful attempt. This dual success and failure will both be helpful to Natalia in overcoming any adversities she might face during the Great Channel Swim.
Additional swimmers - both elite pro swimmers and celebrity relay swimmers - will be announced by Nova International.
Photo of Yuri from Pavel Kuznetsov's website.