Monday, July 6, 2009

The Next Generation of Great British and Russian Swimmers

Like the generations of great American butterflyers and Japanese breaststrokers, Great Britain and Russia continue to produce a long line of successful open water swimmers. The young British and Russian swimmers stepped into the spotlight at this weekend's LEN European Junior Open Water Swimming Championships in Poreč, Croatia.

Open to men born between 1990-1992 and women born between 1991-1993, British Ellie Faulkner and Russia's Arten Podyakov won the the junior women's and men's 5K races respectively.

Ellie (shown above with her teammate Gareth Keating) won the women's race in 59:56, imitating the great Larisa Ilchenko, as she overtook her competitors at the end of the 5K race.

Arten held off Britain's Gareth Keating in the last 100-meter sprint. Arten won in 55:46 with Gareth just behind in 55:48 as they battled down the stretch.

British Open Water Performance Manager Mark Perry said, "This is the best result ever from a British open water junior team and a great testament to the hard work put in by the swimmers and their home coaches. It proves once again that we are on the right track in selecting our swimmers and that those athletes and coaches that have embraced open water as just another swimming event were right to do so. I am personally delighted with the results and look forward to a bright future working with the growing depth of athletes that we are now developing."

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