Saturday, July 4, 2009

Open Water Swimming Hero Of The Day - Petar Stoychev

English Channel record holder. 8-time FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix champion - an unprecedented streak of pro marathon swimming success. A 3-time Olympian from Bulgaria, sixth in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim and flag bearer at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Father and multi-lingual Petar Stoychev represents all the best of open water swimming.

With the growth of open water swimming, Petar will be able to compete in his first FINA World Cup race in his home country. The Black Sea port of Varna will host a professional 10K swim on August 8. "Petar's our champion," said 34-year-old mechanic and fan Georgi Tudzharov. "It'll be such a pleasure to watch him [in Varna]. He is a phenomenon. He's a real star."

"Finally, I'll have an opportunity to give Bulgarian fans something to cheer on home soil. I hope to have a good race but at the same time I realise it will be something different, something new for me," said Petar who has traveled the world swimming. "To be at the Olympics was fantastic. I was lucky to compete three times as I know many great athletes who never had the chance to taste the Olympic atmosphere. "I couldn't win the Olympic title [he finished sixth], but I was so happy just to be part of the Games."

The site of the 69th annual 4K Galata-Varna Swimming Marathon will also be in the same venue in Varna Bay (Odessos) where the water is expected to be 24-26°C (75-78°F) where thousands are expected to cheer on their home country hero, Petar Stoychev.

Photo of Petar, a 2008 International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductee, by Pei Qingsheng in Beijing.

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