On July 18th, the day before the FINA World Swimming Championship 5K race in Italy, Petar Stoychev extended his remarkable string of victories in Ohrid Lake (Macedonia) at the 30K FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix.
But, nothing was easy for Petar as he and Germany's Alexander Studzinski nearly touched together in 5:25:38 with the photo finish decided by the judges. The bronze went to Argentina's Damian Blaum (5:25:48) who remains in the top 3 in the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit.
Italy's Camilla Frediani (5:50:37) won the women's race by 10 seconds - a relative eternity over the nearly 6-hour race over Argentina's Pilar Geijo (5:50:47) with her fellow Argentinian Marianela Mendoza finishing in third (6:23:56)
Petar will have his hand's full in tomorrow's 10K World Cup race in Varna in front of his home country fans. Not only will 2009 world champion Thomas Lurz be looking to defeat Petar, but Beijing Olympic 10K silver medalist David Davies of Great Britain, Vladimir Dyatchin of Russia and Olympians Brian Ryckeman of Belgium and Allan Do Carmo of Brazil.
The women’s field will include Germany's Angela Maurer, 4th place in the Olympic 10K and 2009 world 25K champion, Olympic 10K champion Larisa Ilchenko of Russia, 2009 world champion 5K bronze medalist Poliana Okimoto of Brazil and Olympians Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil and Swann Oberson of Switzerland.