Éva Risztov, the Olympic 10km Marathon Swim gold medalist, who led much of the way in the Serpentine in front of over 30,000 spectators,was the well-deserving LEN (Ligue Européenne de Natation) Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year.
The 27-year-old Hungarian, who also won two medals at the European Long Course Swimming Championships, and competed in the 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle and 400m relay in London, was easily voted as Swimmer of the Year over the Italian European champions, Martina Grimaldi (10km) and Rachele Bruni (5km).
Over the next quadrennial, there will be no more surprise victories or unexpected awards from the versatile champion. All eyes will be on her every time she enters the water as she has lifted expectations to Olympian levels.
Risztov is also among the 15 selected nominees for the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year. The World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year honors the woman who (1) best embodies the spirit of open water swimming, (2) possesses the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and (3) has most positively influenced the world of open water swimming during the year.
Her nomination from the World Open Water Swimming Association awards reads, “Risztov Éva’s versatility as an individual medley swimmer proved valuable as she shifted gears from being a world-class pool swimmer to an Olympic champion. In pulling off arguably the greatest upset of the 2012 London Olympic Games, Risztov gambled on a high-risk strategy that she executed to perfection and earned her long sought after gold by the slimmest of margins. Fourth at the 2004 Athens Olympics in the 400m individual medley, Risztov retired in 2005, feeling unfulfilled. But her hunger for an Olympic medal never waned and she returned as an open water swimmer in 2009. She didn’t immediately rocket to stardom. Rather, she paid her dues and learned along the way: getting bumped, beaten and red-carded. With a steely resolve and abundant confidence in London, she mimicked the favorite’s winning strategy by going out fast, avoiding the physicality in the front, and facing down her rivals. For her long-held belief in her gold medal potential, for her humble willingness to shift disciplines, and for her risk-taking plan that turned the tables on the fast marathon swimming field in history, Risztov’s Éva is a worthy nominee for the 2012 WOWSA Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.”
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
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