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World 10 K swim champs crowned in China

The 2012 FINA 10 km World Open Water Swim Series came to an end this past weekend with the staging of the final event in the Xinjin River in Shantou City, China reports Zwemza, the South African swimming blog.

Spyridon Gianniotis, the World 10 K swim Champ. Photo: FINA

The series is organized around seven events and takes place in some of the world’s most amazing natural water bodies, either freshwater (lake, rowing course, river) or in the sea.

The event on the Xinjin River in Shantou City was the final event of the season and as a result the overall series winner of the 2012 FINA 10km Marathon Swimming Series was to be crowned.

The men’s race turned out to be a “crackerjack” affair with the lead group of nearly 20 athletes heading the large field of 49 starters into the meandering Xinjin River which encompasses both rural and industrial Shantau City. While a number of athletes threw down the challenge throughout the race, as has become so familiar in elite open water swimming races, the finish proved to be exciting and decisive.

As the field approached the finish structure, it was the Greek ace, Spyridon Gianniotis who turned on the gas to open a small, but decisive lead over the chasing pack to secure his fourth victory of the 2012 FINA 10km Marathon Swimming Series in a rapid time of 1:50:41.70.

Gianniotis was delighted with his victory, which saw him secure the overall title of 2012 FINA 10km World Marathon Swimming Champion, after the disappointment of missing out on a podium finish at 10km Marathon Swimming event at the recent London Olympic Games.

“The race itself went well. I felt good. Since the Olympics I have cut back on my training a little but winning the 2012 FINA title was always one of my goals this year” The recently married Spyridon stated on Monday morning.

The ladies race unfolded similarity with the battle for the minor podium place being the race of the race. Brazilian Ana Marcela Cunha (1:58:12.90) who was one of the few athletes in the competition to compete in all seven events during the 2012 FINA 10km Marathon Swimming Series claimed her fourth victory of the year and the overall series title when she out sprinted the German duo of veteran Angela Maurer (1:58:14.23) and stalwart Nadine Reichert (1:58:15.32) in another exciting climax on the Xinjin River.

The top three places went to:

Men

1. Spyridon Gianniotis Greece – 114

2. Christian Reichert Germany – 88

3. Alan do Carmo Brazil – 56

Woman

1. Ana Marcela Cunha Brazil – 140

2. Nadine Reichert Germany – 90

3. Angela Maurer Germany – 85

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