Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Taking Your Time, But Finishing Strong

At the 2008 World Open Water Swimming Championships, the Russian women placed 1st and 3rd in the 25K race. The photo on the left shows the two Russian women - Natalya Pankina (#89) and Ksenia Popova (#37) - in the background at the start.

A split second later, another photo shows Ksenia and Natalya taking their time to start the race vs. their competitors. Eventually, over the next 5+ hours, the two women caught their competitors and placed first (5:27:48) and third (5:27:53) respectively, with superstar Edith van Dijk in a very close second.

When asked why she took her time at the start, Natalya answered, "Because I did not want to be traumatised!" giving us a little hint of the aggressiveness of the world's elite female swimmers.

Upper photo by Javier Blazquez. Lower photo from Natalya's Facebook page.

Copyright © 2009 by Open Water Source

1 comment:

John said...

OW strategy is a Russian strong point. Ever since they instituted the dive off the dock, I thought it
was a waste of time and energy, not to mention a possible safety hazard. Maybe it's good for media, spectators,etc., but bad for swimmers. I think the Russians have the right idea here.