Expect The Unexpected Continues In Hungary

Expect The Unexpected Continues In Hungary

After Greece won the 5K Team Pursuit race at the European Swimming Championships in Hungary and Olympic medalists like Larisa Ilchenko and David Davies finished out of the money – something previously unthinkable – the surprises and upheaval in the elite echelon of open water swimming continued.

Olga Beresnyeva of Ukraine unexpectedly won the 25K race by out-touching Olympian and world champion Angela Maurer of Germany by a tenth of a second. Olga finished in 5:48:10.2 with world 10K champion Martina Grimaldi of Italy in third.

Olga and Angela sprinted in together, but Olga had the better touch to the raised vertical in-the-water finish board. “This was my first-ever race in the 25K and I really can’t believe that I became European champion at the first attempt. Since the race wasn’t too fast in the first three laps I still had enough power left for a finishing sprint.”

Even the battle for third required a post-race review by the officials. Martina and Margarita Dominguez of Spain both finished in5:48:30.8, but Martina was judged to touch the board just slightly ahead of her Spanish rival.

As the athletes now turn their attention to the Olympic 10K qualifying race at the 2011 World Swimming Championships less than 12 months away, we remain highly impressed with Angela, the oldest women competing at the highest levels of marathon swimming. How she continues to compete with women much younger than herself while balancing training with the care of her child is nothing short of remarkable. As the changes on the podium continue, there seems to always be one constant in the mix – the lone mother in the group, Angela Maurer.

Upper photo of Olga by Bela Szandelszky of the Associated Press. Lower photo shows Angela taking in some hydration on the last loop.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones