With all the Swammy awards being handed out to pool swimmers, it’s time to take a shift towards those who compete in open water competitions. 2013 has had some great open water competition with fast results at the World Championships, the FINA World Cup series, and the European Open Water Swimming Cup Tour.
This year’s men’s award for Open Water Swimmer of the Year goes to Germany’s Thomas Lurz. This should be no surprise to anyone as Lurz had an incredible season. Besides his incredible World Championships performance Thomas Lurz had a very impressive run at the FINA World Cup series. Lurz came home with two golds, a silver, and a bronze out of the five stops that he competed at.
This summer for the first time Lurz medalled in the 25km race earning himself a gold medal. He swam to a silver medal performance in the 10km race and earned himself a bronze in the 5km. He earned himself a second gold in the 5km team event with teammates Christian Reichert and Isabelle Härle to bring his total medal tally for the meet up to four making it his most successful World Championships yet.
Lurz has had a very decorated career with a huge medal count in a combination of Olympics, World Championships, World Cups, and European Championships, and at 34 years old, he hasn’t slowed down. His four medals in Barcelona brings his career total up to 13 at the FINA World Championships.
- Oussama Mellouli- Mellouli had an impressive World Championships which is why he needs to be recognized. This summer he earned a gold in the 5km race and a bronze in the 10km race. Mellouli finished 11th in the 1500m freestyle heats as well, not qualifying for the 1500m freestyle final for the first time in international competition since his gold medal in Beijing.
- Spyridon Gianniotis- Gianniotis from Greece was the winner of the men’s 10km at the World Championships. His gold medal is so impressive because in the process he beat the 2012 Olympic Champion Mellouli and Lurz. Gianniotis was one of only two swimmers to beat Mellouli or Lurz in an open water event this summer.
- Eric Hedlin- Canadian Eric Hedlin much like Gianniotis was not close to competing with Lurz or Mellouli with the spot for open water swimmer of the year, however his results in the 5km race at the World Championships earn him his honorable mention. Hedlin earned the silver in the 5km beating Lurz, making him the only swimmer other than Gianniotis to beat either Lurz or Mellouli at the meet in an open water event.