Alannah Jury of New Zealand threw down a very fast 10K race at the Swim Karapiro Open Water Festival with a 1 hour 59 minutes swim.
"It will be raising eyebrows in Australia," said the race director Errol Newlands. "It's right up there with the best of the best."
"We talked about it afterwards, how there was the potential for someone to question the distance of the race." While her time was very fast - under 1:12 per 100 meters in the 19.5°C waters of Lake Karapiro - a comparison of times means little in competitive open water world where mano-a-mano racing is the name of the game.
But, Alannah is swimming well and should represent her homeland well in both Australia and Canada in 2010. Alannah and her fellow swimmers from New Zealand will travel to Australia in February to compete at the Australian Open Water Swimming National Championships as the qualification race for the World Open Water Swimming Championships in Canada in July.
Her coach Gary Francis told the New Zealand press that he believes Alannah is on the cusp of achieving huge things, "We are determined she will establish herself in the top ten in the world next year and, without trying to be too bold, we want to go all the way with this."
We assume that means to swim well in the Serpentine - the site of the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim at the 2012 London Olympic Games - and in Copacabana Beach at the 2016 Rio Olympics Games.
Besides Alannah's fast swim, the Swim Karapiro Open Water Festival featured a women-only 400-meter swim, a Kids Splash’n’Dash 200-meter swim, a beach run, a 4 x 400-meter relay, a 750-meter swim, a 1.5K swim, a 2.5K swim, a 5K swim and the 10K swim in the Mighty River Domain near the rowing course at Lake Karapiro.
Photo of Alannah Jury by Sarah Ivey.
Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association