Sunday, in the final race of the FINA open water 10km World Cup series in Hong Kong, American Emily Brunemann took a victory for the 2nd-straight week following her win in China on September 25th.
This gives her a second-straight $2,500 payday for the race victory and a whole lot more confidence headed into the Olympic year.She stared down Olympic qualifier, and 5-time World Championship medalist Angela Maurer, in consecutive races and took victories. What’s more is that both of these swims were considered by observers as “tactical” races that came down to the final strokes (the two swims combined for over four hours of racing, but the total margin of victory was only 5.3 seconds). Brunemann’s not exactly a rookie to the open water events, but to out maneuver one of the great veterans of the sport could give her a mental advantage at next year’s US Nationals and possibly the Olympic Trials as well, if she gets that far.
Though Brunemann won the race, at the end of the day it was the German team that had the last laugh. Thomas Lurz, the world’s premier male open water swimmer, won the men’s battle to complete an overall victory in the series, and Maurer’s runner-up finish matched her atop the podium for the women as well. For their season-long commitments and efforts, each will take home an over-sized novelty check worth $20,000.
The Germans in fact took first through third in both competitions. Behind Lurz were Christian Reichert (2nd in the race) and Andreas Waschburger (9th in the race), which will earn them $12,000 and $8,000 prizes, respectively. The women’s standings nearly identically mirrored the men’s, as Maurer was followed in overall standings by Nadine Reichert (2nd in the race) and Isabell Donath (9th in the race).
For the Reichert husband-and-wife duo, this was an excellent-day’s-work, as they combined left Hong Kong with $28,000 more in their bank accounts than when they arrived.
Taking 3rd in the men’s race was South Africa’s Chad Ho, who was the overall series winner last year but was largely absent from the competitions this season.
The race was held in Hong Kong’s Repulse Bay ironically-named Repulse Bay, that is actually quite a beautiful scene for a race. The water temperature at the Bay was 27.5 degrees Celcius (about 82 Farenheit), which is about average for this time of year. That temperature is a few degrees above ideal, but still well within the safety guidelines laid out by both USA Swimming and FINA, and all accounts of the race were that it went off without a hitch.