Tomorrow features an interesting open water swimming race at the FINA world championships, one that not many are familiar with, the 5K team event. In this event each country has three swimmers, a mix from each gender, that work together to bring about the fastest time of the 3rd swimmer of the group. Tomorrow team USA will be represented by Sean Ryan, Andrew Gemmell and Haley Anderson. Haley will serve as the team anchor with Sean and Andrew doing the drafting to pull her through to the finish. Teams take off individually and are ranked based upon the finish of the final swimmer. Envision Gemmell in the lead with Ryan serving as the synapse to set just the right pace for Anderson. Gemmell and Ryan were part of the gold medal winning team at the 2011 world championship team that pulled Ashley Twichell across the finish line.
This is going to be a very exciting race as each team works to establish their own strategies to take the gold. Keep an eye on the Hungarians who are breaking with the usual gender configuration of two men and one woman. They’ve got Olympic Gold medalist Eva Risztov who will likely anchor that team. Of course, the Brazilians will have the the reigning 10K gold medalist Poliana Okimoto in the saddle so it will be important to have then on the radar.
Regardless of the outcome, this is a great event and showcases the teamwork and excitement of open water swimming.