Sunday, March 25. 2007
Date: Sunday, March 25, 2007
Location: St. Kilda Beach, Melbourne
Theme: Hearts of Heroes, Written by Steve Munatones
Everyone who finished the men’s and women’s 25K race today should be considered a hero: 15-20 knot winds, 64ºF water, surface chop and wind caps throughout the race. First place, last place and everyone in-between.
Britta Kamrau-Corestein, with a 4-minute lead on the staggered women’s start, took it out hard on the first 2.5K loop and extended her lead throughout the race, finishing with a final time of 5 hours, 37 minute, 11.66 seconds. However, the more compelling race was for the silver and bronze. Kalyn Keller, starting 30 seconds behind the second pack of Angela Maurer and a pair of Russian swimmers, Natalya Pankina and Ksenia Popova, quickly caught up with the group.
The four swimmers battled the entire race – back and forth, exchanging leads, doing backstroke and stopping to allow their competitors to take the lead. Yellow cards and whistles during being called throughout the race when the referee judged the combatants were nudging or hitting each other outside the legal bounds. Pankina received a yellow card, as did Kalyn. However, many times, the bumping seemed inadvertent as the winds and waves simply pushed the swimmers into one another.
During the last 5K, everyone tried to throw in a surge to break free. However, Kalyn threw in the last surge that broke the group. Kalyn received a silver medal for her 5 hour 39 minutes 39.62 second effort with Popova 12 seconds behind her and Maurer 9 seconds behind Popova. Coach Rose was on the team walkie-talkie throughout the race to the staff and called an emotional play-by-play over the last 400 meters. “Kalyn is just giddy with joy,” commented Coach Rose as Kalyn crossed the finish and swam easy to shore. Her smiles, as wide and happy as can be, were shared with all her teammates.
Meanwhile, Mark Warkentin and Scott Kaufmann were trying to replicate Kalyn’s success among a tough men’s field. Mark battled into the lead on several occasions, but also fell back as far as 7th and 8th during other stretches. 5K down – and Mark and Scott were still in the hunt. 10K down – and Mark was right there. 15K down – no changes. 20K – and the real race began. First came the surge by the Australian Josh Santacaterina. Then, with 2K to go, Yury Kudinov took charge and stormed to a minute 51-second victory, winning in 5 hours 16 minutes 45.55 over the 25.5K course.
Mark was battling with Marco Formetini of Italy, Mohamed Zanaty of Egypt and Santacaterina of Australia. Over the last 1.5K, Formetini and Zanaty pulled ahead of Santacaterina and Mark to capture silver and bronze respectively. Mark finished fourth in 5 hours 20 minutes 42 seconds, ahead of such renown pro swimmers such as Petar Stoychev of Bulgaria, Stephane Gomez, Brendan Capell of Australia and Maaten van der Weijden of the Netherlands.
Scott, battling hypothermia ever since the early stages of the race, heroically fought his own way through the waves, and finished in 6 hours 5 minutes to the delight and respect of the crowds.
Interesting note of the day: Midway through the race and on, the coaches on the feeding pontoons were cheering everyone on, no matter what the country of the athlete. The camaraderie of the support staff and the mutual admiration for all the athletes were never so apparent under such conditions. Everyone was a champion today.
Date: Sunday morning, March 25, 2007
Location: St. Kilda Beach, Melbourne
The starting positions for the second half of the women’s 25K, which will start 5 minutes after the 21 male entrants, are as follows:
Germany Britta Kamrau-Corestein Start at 10:05
Germany Angela Maurer Start at 10:09 (4 minutes behind leader)
Russia Natalya Pankina Start at 10:09 (4 minutes behind leader)
Russia Ksenia Popova Start at 10:09 (4 minutes behind leader)
USA Kalyn Keller Start at 10:09:30 (4:30 behind leader)
Czech Jana Pechanova Start at 10:14 (9 minutes behind leader)
Australia Shelley Clark Start at 10:14 (9 minutes behind leader)
Italy Laura La Piana Start at 10:24 (19 minutes behind leader)
Poland Malwina Bukszowana Start at 10:24 (19 minutes behind leader)
Netherlands Evelien Sohl Start at 10:34 (30 minutes behind leader)
This re-start is an obvious disadvantage to the leader who must swim solo as the rest of the field can draft, pace and navigate off one another to play catch-up. The weather is expected to be sunny with the wind expected to be between 10-20 knots, as reported by the local weather bureau. The last three women will also probably be quickly lapped by the fresh group of 25K male swimmers. Note that the lead group of women swam averaged a little over 32 minutes for each of the first two loops yesterday.
An article in the local Melbourne newspaper summarizes the events of yesterday well: http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2007/03/24/1174597937379.html?from=top5.
Interesting photo of the day: As posted by www.fina.org, Vladimir Dyatchin of Russia, the 2003 world 10K champion, out-touches Thomas Lurz of Germany, the 2004 and 2006 world 10K champion, who were both given the same time of 1 hour 55 minutes 32 seconds. For those new to the sport, please note how both athletes extended themselves towards the finish pad and optimally timed their final stroke. This may appear easy, but requires much practice. Video images of the finish, taken by two cameras posted on the floating timing system, were necessary to decide the winner. This kind of race – where the finish positions are determined by a formal review by FINA officials of the video-taped finish is not only expected in Beijing, but also in Seville at the first pre-Olympic qualifying swim where at least 100 swimmers will be vying for one of the 10 slots available slots reserved for the Olympic 10K final.
Interesting note of the day: Yesterday, Russian athletes not entered in the 25K were tasked with doing the feeding of their female teammates in the 25K instead of entirely depending on the Russian coaching staff. That is one way to build teamwork!
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