Guillermo Bértola, Xavier Desharnais Talk About Traversée

Courtesy of WOWSA, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Guillermo Bértola from Argentina won the 63rd Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean in Quebec, Canada in a course record of 6 hours 19 minutes in 2017 less than 4 seconds over Canadian Philippe Guertin. It was the first time the race was conducted in wetsuits due to the new FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix rules and the first time Bértola won the overall season title of the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix professional marathon swimming circuit, tied with Evgenij Pop Acev from Macedonia.

Xavier Desharnais from Canada won the 2014 Traversée Internationale du Lac St-Jean, tied with Macedonian Tomi Stefanovski in a dramatic finish in 7 hours 9 minutes. Desharnais defended his title in 2015 when he won outright over Canadian teammate Guertin at the 61st annual Traversée in 7 hours 20 minutes.

The two professional marathon swimmers talked about their respective victories in the Traversée from Rio de Janeiro where they will be teammates in the Americas team at the Rei e Rainha do Mar on Copacabana Beach tomorrow in front of a nationwide live television audience in Brazil on TV Globo.

Follow Bértola on Instagram at @guillermobertola and Desharnais on Facebook here.

Bértola was nominated for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year along with the following individuals:

1. Evgenij Pop Acev (Macedonia)
2. Antonio Argüelles (Mexico)
3. John Batchelder (USA)
4. Guillermo Bértola (Argentina)
5. Avram Iancu (Romania)
6. Stéphane Lecat (France)
7. Dr. Lucky Meisenheimer (USA)
8. Lynton Mortensen (Australia)
9. Simone Ruffini (Italy)
10. Petar Stoychev (Bulgaria)
11. Sayed Ihsan Taheri (Afghanistan)
12. Ferry Weertman (Netherlands)
13. Philip Yorke (Great Britain)

Bértola’s nomination reads, “Guillermo Bértola looks like an athlete with a hardened body and steely gaze. While he has been competing on the professional marathon swimming circuits for years, he has never risen to the top…until this year. The 27-year-old puts his mind in the right spot and aggressively attacks his training and professional marathon races around the world. This year, he won the overall title for the first time in his career, tying with Evgenij Pop Acev in the closest battle in FINA history. He won the 32 km Traversée international du lac St-Jean in Canada and finished 3rd in the 16 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli in Italy and the 33 km Ohrid Lake Swimming Marathon in Macedonia. He also competed in the FINA 10K World Cup circuit from Argentina to the UAE and competed in the 5 km team, 10 km and 25 km races at the 2017 FINA World Championships.

For representing his country extraordinarily well as a personable, seriously-minded ambassador on the international swimming scene, for training hard and serving as an inspiration among young Argentine swimmers, and for winning his first career title on the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit, Guillermo Bértola is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.

To register and vote on the WOWSA Awards and the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, visit here.

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Steven Munatones