Darkhorses At The FINA World Swimming Championships

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, there were insiders of the sport who
considered Maarten van der Weijden a medal contender in the Olympic 10K
Marathon Swim, but few thought he would win the gold medal.

But Maarten believed and trained for his gold medal winning performance.

Similarly at the 2011 FINA World Swimming Championships in Shanghai, there
are men and women who believe in themselves and are training for achieve
their goals. While winning is always sweet, qualifying for the 2012
London Olympics is the primary goal of open water swimming’s elite.

Ky Hurst of Australia and Mazen Aziz of Egypt are prime examples of these
elite swimmers.

Ky, an Australian hero in surf lifesaving and a 2008 open water Olympian,
wants to repeat his Olympic experience in London. This time, however, he
wants a medal – and he is training unconventionally to realize his goal.

Mazen is taking another inprobably route to realize his Olympic dream.
The fastest Egyptian marathon swimmer who has battled for years on the
FINA professional marathon swimming circuits is currently studying in
America at Southern Illinois University (SIU) under the helm of long-time
USA Swimming national open water swimming head coach Rick Walker. “He is
hard worker,” said Rick. “He is a joy to coach.”

With nearly impeccable English and an American collegiate education now
underway, Mazen has had plenty of distractions for his training. But the
time management skills and training at SIU teammates has made Mazen a
better swimmer. “I feel good. I am ready for this competition.”

Thinking positively with years of focused training to rely on, men like Ky
and Hurst will give it their all come this Wednesday at the Olympic 10K
Marathon Swim qualifier.

Reportedly 65 men will dive in the water each with their own dreams. It
will be exciting to watch how those dreams play out.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones