Close Quarters For 5-6 Hours

Close Quarters For 5-6 Hours

Close Quarters For 5-6 Hours

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

What other sport do athletes deal with cold water, tricky tangents, wind-whipped surface chop, boat exhaust, extreme physiological discomfort and sensory deprivation (both visual and auditory) and…while battling in what can be described as nearly hand-to-hand combat in a tightly-packed group for hours and hours on end?

The athletes in tomorrow’s world 25 km championship will experience these conditions. Their race may take as few as 5 hours if the water is flat and warm or more than 6 hours if the water is wavy and cold.

The start list for the women’s 25 km FINA World Open Water Swimming Championship includes a trio of pre-race favorites including 2009 25 km silver medalist Anna Uvarova and Kseniya Popova of Russia and Martina Grimaldi who won the 10 km race on Saturday. With defending champion Angela Maurer, who swam well in the 10 km earlier in the week, heading back to Europe for the European Open Water Swimming Championships in Lake Balaton, the podium is open to all.

With everyone with their own dreams of medaling at this year’s world championships, it should be a great competition, hour-by-hour. The field includes:

1. Lara Rodriguez Anido of Argentina
2. Antonella Bogarin of Argentina
3. Stacey Hansford of Australia
4. Anastasia Zhidkova of Azerbaijan
5. Joannie Guillemette Simard of Canada
6. Ivana Sitic of Croatia
7. Margarita Dominguez Cabezas of Spain
8. Ophelie Aspord of France
9. Celia Barrot of France
10. Martina Grimaldi of Italy
11. Linsy Heister of the Netherlands
12. Anna Uvarova of Russia
13. Kseniya Popova of Russia
14. Haley Anderson of USA
15. Emily Hanson of USA

Lower photo of pack swimming by Dr. Jim Miller. Upper photo shows bronze medalist Anna Uvarova of Russia, gold medalist Angela Maurer of Germany, and silver medalist Federica Vitale of Italy at the 25 km race the 13th FINA World Championships on July 25th 2009 at Ostia Beach in Rome, Italy.

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