At the 2009 Russian national open water swimming championships this week, Ekaterina Seliverstova (shown with teammate Larisa Ilchenko on left in 2007) won both the women's 5K and 10K championships in Anapa in the Black Sea.
This may be Ekaterina's breakout year, although we understand that Larisa already qualified for Rome as the Olympic 10K champion and did not swim in the championships.
Ekaterina has been knocking at the door of a world championship for some time and she will be carrying the mantle for the powerful Russian open water team in Rome. She was second to teammate Larisa in the 5K at the 2007 and 2008 world championships and has placed fourth in the 10K at the 2003 and 2004 world championships.
Similarly, Evgeny Drattsev, fifth at the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim) in Beijing (shown in the blue cap on right at the Olympics feeding station), won the men's 5K and 10K championships. He will be one of the pre-race favorites in Rome.
Former world champion Vladimir Dyatchin finished third in the 10K, leaving Vladimir to only swim the 5K in Rome.
Without Olympic 10K silver medalist David Davies and Vladimir in the 10K, German Thomas Lurz and Evgeny will face 10 other fast men who will be highlighted in the upcoming Open Water Wednesday feature on SwimNetwork this week.
Photos by Getty Images.