Although we tend to focus on the gold, silver and bronze medalists at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Rome, there are many other swimmers who perform extraordinarily well.
One example is Greece's Marianna Lymperta (shown above) who finish ninth in the women's 10K race, only 8.6 seconds behind the winner, Keri-Anne Payne of the UK. In other words, only 8.6 seconds separated the top 9 women in a 2-hour race.
Another example is New Zealand's Alannah Jury (shown on left) whose goggles were knocked off by another swimmer during the 10K race. Alannah continued to swim in the salt water until her famous coach, Philip Rush, threw her a pair of goggles at the next feeding station. She took time to put on her second pair of goggles and fought valiantly to finish 13th only 23.9 seconds out of a gold medal.
These are examples why we enjoy watching all of the competitors at the World Swimming Championships.