To see all of the 2014 Swammy Award winners, presented by TYR, click here.
2014 HONOREE: FERRY WEERTMAN
With no Open Water World Championships this season the competition in the open water events was diversified amongst several high-level competitions with the main championship meets being the Pan Pacific Championships and the European Championships.
With swimmers competing at either or, picking just one athlete for the Male Open Water Swimmer of the Year was a difficult task. At the European Championships there were many viable options. The 5km, 10km, and 25km swims were all won by different athletes with only three athletes earning multiple medals at the competition.
The best results however went to Ferry Weertman of the Netherlands as he won both the standard open water event, the 10km, and helped his team win gold in the team event.
The 10km was a very tough race considering that there were many top level swimmers competing. In fact, the top three in the event were the three male swimmers who earned multiple medals at the competition.
Starting out the race, all three were in the lead pack however Weertman chose to stay a bit behind to conserve some energy. He did this for the first three laps until he turned on the jets and got right up with Thomas Lurz and Evgeny Drattsev near the front. Lurz, the German open water veteran, was quite possibly the favorite heading into the final bit of the race but it was Weertman who challenged him.
The two swimmers along with Drattsev raced hard towards the finish as Weertman was able to establish a small lead over Lurz. He managed to touch first in 1:49:56.20, just about three seconds ahead of Lurz. Lurz clocked in at 1:49:59 with Drattsev finishing just behind him in 1:50:00.6.
Not only was Weertman the only swimmer who won multiple medals that included a gold, but he did so in one of the most competitive races of the competition. In the 5km race, Daniel Fogg pulled away from the field and in the 25km race it was between just Axel Reymond and Drattsev towards the end. Weertman had to contend with multiple top-level swimmers including the defending world champion from 2013, Spyridon Gianniotis who finished eighth.
In the team event he paired up with Sharon Van Rouwendaal who had an incredible season along with Marcel Schouten to take home the gold and finish almost 20 seconds ahead of the second place team, Greece.
Considering that Weetman was the only swimmer to win multiple medals which included a gold, and two at that, it was fitting that he be named the 2014 Swammy Award recipient for the Open Water Swimmer of the Year.
- Thomas Lurz – Lurz was the only male open water swimmer at the European Championships to earn three medals. He was also one of two male open water swimmers to take home multiple individual medals at the championships. Lurz took home a bronze in the 5km race behind Daniel Fogg and finished second behind Swammy award winner Weertman in the 10km race. Slightly less than three seconds separated the two at the touch. Lurz also took home a bronze in the team event representing Germany.
- Andrew Gemmell – Andrew Gemmell displayed impressive results at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships where he took down Jarrod Poort and Kane Radford en route to taking home the 10km gold for the USA. At Pan Pacs, the only event contested was the 10km so Gemmell’s options were limited as to multi-event scoring. As for his time, he was a 1:51:11 which compared well with the times swam at the European Championships. Accurately, it’s not a fair comparison given that every open water event has different conditions, however it is a gauge point for comparing Gemmell’s results with those at the European Championships.
- Evgeny Drattsev – Drattsev was the only male open water swimmer other than Lurz to medal in two individual events at the European Championships. He took a bronze in the 10km race behind Lurz, finishing less than two seconds behind him. In the 25km race he was second behind Axel Reymond.