Monday, March 26. 2007
Date: Monday, March 26, 2007
Location: St. Kilda Beach to Melbourne to Sydney to Home
Theme: Overall Impressions, Written by Steve Munatones
Some impressions that come quickly to mind:
1. The Russians are truly dominating and committed to continuing their domination through 2008 and beyond.
2. The Germans are not far behind the Russians (e.g., 2 German males in the top 5 in the 10K and 2 German females in the top 6 in the 10K).
3. Several other countries are hungry to replicate the Russian and German success.*
4. Newcomers like Spyridon Gianniotis of Greece (bronze in the 10K) and Cassandra Patten of Great Britain (silver in the 10K by 1 second) took the same strategy – go out hard, lead the pack and hang on when more experienced elite swimmers make their final surges.
5. Strategic positioning remains critically important and requires elite racing experience to properly execute.
Mohamed Zanaty of Egypt swam extraordinarily well: 4th in the 10K and bronze in the 25K.
6. Swimming smart gives good results: Yury Kudinov swam much smarter in his victorious 25K in Melbourne compared with his taking a huge early lead at the 2005 Montreal World Championship 25K…and fading out of the money.
7. 37-year-old Marco Formetini of Italy, who earned a silver medal in the 25K, is the world’s fastest masters long-distance swimmer.
8. Britta Kamrau (4th in the 5K by 0.1 seconds, 6th in the 10K finishing 7 seconds from gold, and 1st in the 25K) continues to show her great versatility.
9. Competition in the 5K and 10K is much deeper, faster and more physical than the World Championship races in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
10. Different kinds of feeding sticks are being used than before: all sticks were much longer and more stable than before. Many countries had double holders at the end of their feeding sticks.
11. Most of the top countries had walkie-talkie systems with earphones so none of the other teams could listen in on their conversations during the races.
12. Feeding is critical to success: Vladimir Dyatchin of Russia, the 10K gold medalist, took a gel pack about the 8.2K mark without worrying that he was giving up the lead.
13. The open water coaches of the European teams rarely change. These coaches also appear do very little coaching while on the pool deck – the swimmers just get in and do their workouts with very little interaction by their coaches.
14. The Europeans and Australians do not train much in open water, especially before the competition, primarily because they are constantly doing open water races.
15. Thomas Lurz (5K gold medalist and 10K silver medalist) and Larisa Ilchenko (double gold medalist in the 5K and 10K) used nearly the exact same strategies (i.e., settle in 2nd or 3rd for 80-90% of the race and make their move before the last turn buoy).
16. Europeans do not get flustered with the physical contact inherent in pack swimming.
Interesting note of the day: Russia won the overall open water title with 156 points. Germany was second with 108 points. Australia was third with 54 points. Italy was fourth with 43 points. USA was fifth with 33 points. Czech Republic was sixth with 27 points. Egypt was seventh with 26 points. Great Britain was eighth with 23 points. Netherlands was ninth with 22 points. Spain was tenth with 19 points.
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