Two races down, and no reported complications for the new-rules in Open Water Swimming, as the second race of the FINA Open Water 10km World Cup took place in Cancun, Mexico on Saturday, and German Thomas Lurz extended his lead on the men’s side. The water conditions could not have been better for great competition and fast swimming.
Water Temp: 27.8 degrees C (82 F)
Air Temp: 25.5 decrees C (78 F)
Water Condition: Clear
Wave action: Aprroximately 3-foot swells (waist-high, very calm)
Race time: 10 AM
Race Duration: Approximately 2.5 hours
The second-leg of the 7-race series posted very swift times (the winners on the men’s side were approximately 15 minutes faster than they were in Brazil a few weeks ago) with two Germans battling out at the finish. Thomas Lurz, who is the overall series leader and favorite, dueled his teammate Andreas Waschburger all the way to the end of the race. Waschburger, who led wire-to-wire, was able to hold off the charge with a win in 1:53:58, one-second ahead of Lurz in a literal photo-finish.
American Alex Meyer, who (along with Chip Peterson, who we have not seen yet this season) is likely the new standard-bearer for USA Open Water Swimming, took 3rd in this race in 1:54:04. He was actually the 4th across the line, but Israeli swimmer (and former SMU Mustang) Michael Dmitriev was disqualified.
As one of the few top swimmers who have participated in both races thus far, Lurz took a huge lead with 38 points. Waschburger, also swimming his second race, is in second with 28 points (his finish here was much better than in Brazil), and the USA’s Mark Warkentin (who finished 6th in Cancun) is third with 26 points.
Notably absent from the series thus far is South Africa’s Chad Ho, who is the defending champion in this series. Already two races in the hole against Lurz, it’s unlikely that he will defend his title. Brazil’s Allan do Carmo (who was 4th in Brazil, 3rd overall last year, and is a title contender) also skipped this race, which should have been one of the easier ones for him to make.
Full Men’s Results | Full Men’s Standings
On the women’s side, Brazilian Poliana Okimoto, who was second in Brazil, improved her standing to take a similarly close victory on the women’s side in 2:01:58. Hungarian Eva Ristov took 2nd in 2:02.00. In fact, the top 9 swimmers all finished within 8-seconds (about 10-meters) of each other, which gave Okimoto the advantage of being in the lead and the ability to “box out” many of her competitors at the finish line.
Aside from Okimoto, none of the top-three from the first race in Brazil (all South Americans) competed in this event. That left a big opening for Germany’s Isabell Donath (4th-2:02.01) to rocket up the standings. Okimoto sits first with 38 points, followed by Donath (30) and Germany’s Angela Maurer (22) who was 5th here.
The top finishing American was a bit of a new-comer to the Open Water Scene, Haley Anderson, who finished 4th. Anderson is best known for her exploits in pool swimming that includes a 2nd-place finish in the 800 free at the 2009 World Championship Trials, as well as a 6th-place finish in the 500 and 3rd-place finish in the 1650 at NCAA’s last year. She is still very young (only 19), but with this swim shows a ton of potential in open-water. Christine Jennings, who took 6th in 2:02:03 competed at the ill-fated race in the UAE last year (along with Meyer on the men’s side).
Full Women’s Results | Full Women’s Standings