To see all of the 2014 Swammy Award winners, presented by TYR, click here.
2014 HONOREE: SHARON VAN ROUWENDAAL
When looking at the 2014 female open water swimmer of the year there’s only one name that comes to mind and that’s Sharon Van Rouwendaal. Rouwendaal is an incredible swimmer well deserving of this award who was not only able to swim successfully in open water, but in the pool as well.
Rouwendaal had a fantastic 2014 year truly breaking out on the world scene in the open water events at the 2014 European Championships. In the 5km race, she was in-between two very experienced swimmers: Isabelle Harle and Marei Belmonte.
She was able to pull away from Belmonte for the silver medal finishing with a time of 58:29.9, 11 and a half seconds ahead of her.
The 10km race however was Rouwendaal’s best event and she completely transferred her fighting abilities from the pool to open water. She was chased down by Eva Risztov and Aurora Ponsele but managed to take the race with a time of 1:56.06.9. She just barely separated herself from the silver and bronze medallists as they were both less than two seconds behind. Nonetheless, Rouwendaal had just won her first major open water gold at an international competition.
Rouwendaal took home a gold for the Dutch in the team event as well, and even placed silver in the 400m freestyle final, walking away from the championships with two golds and two silvers.
She had one more championship meet on her schedule before the end of 2014 and that was the short course world championships. Whilst there she picked up three medals; a gold, a silver, and a bronze. She represented the Netherlands as part of the 4x200m freestyle relay, a team which won gold. Individually she took home a silver in the 400m freestyle and a bronze in the 800.
There’s no doubt that this was a major breakout season for Rouwendaal who has demonstrated her talents in a wide range of events. No other open water swimmer was able to earn as many medals as her at a major international competition; and due to this Rouwendaal is the 2014 Swammy recipient for the female open water swimmer of the year.
In no particular order
- Isabelle Harle- Harle also competed extremely well at the 2014 European Championships taking home a bronze and a gold. She won her first individual medal in an open water event this year when she claimed gold in the 5km race. She also participated in Germany’s bronze medal winning team in the team event.
- Hayley Anderson – Anderson was spectacular at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships, winning gold in the 10km race which was the only open water race at the meet. She won the event in 1:59.51 in what was an extremely close race.
- Eva Risztov- Risztov took home one medal at the 2014 European Championships and was just shy of two more. She finished second overall in the 10km race behind Sharon Van Rouwendaal and also added fourth place finishes in both the 5km race and the team event.