Wednesday, July 22, 2009

World Championships - A Perspective By Sean Ryan

25K'er Sean Ryan of the USA Swimming national open water swim team provided us with these two first-person accounts of his experiences at the 2009 World Swimming Championships:

"Monday was a little hectic, but nice as well. We slept in this morning because we got back late from our dinner out last night (photo on left). After that, the whole day was about an hour or two off the normal schedule. It didn’t affect us too much, but the pool was a little crowded for our afternoon practice. "

"We also got in the ocean today for the first time since the venue confusion and the waves on Saturday. They did a pretty good job getting the beach ready for us to swim, but the water seemed colder than it was on Friday. "

"We had a great team meeting today and I think that all of our 5K swimmers are ready to go. We will see what the American Dream Team, as one of our Italian friends called us, can do. "

"Today (Tuesday, July 21st) was our first race day. We had Emily Brunemann and Emily Hanson swimming the women’s 5K and Fran Crippen and Andrew Gemmel swimming the men’s 5k. All of our swimmers did well and we are looking good in the team standings. "

"I warmed up on the course this morning before the women’s race and the sea was calm, no big waves or anything else to worry about. The only thing that was distracting was that there were pockets of cold and warm water. The big surprise today was the finish of the women’s race when Larisa Ilchenko of Russia was out-touched by Melissa Gorman from Australia. It was the first World Championship 5K or 10K race that Ilchenko hasn’t won since 2004. "

"The men’s race was also pretty exciting with our male swimmers doing pretty well on the world stage. Our men were in great position, but were just outmaneuvered into the finish. The overall experience was a good one, but it was very hot and when we got back we all pretty much took a well-deserved nap. "

"The rest of the day was pretty relaxed we had a practice in the afternoon then a team meeting, dinner and sleep. During that time, we were trying to get our 10K swimmers ready to swim and everything else ready to go for the race. Anyway, we will see how it goes and hopefully tomorrow we will do as well as we did today."

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