Over 70 of the world’s best swimmers contested the second leg of the series in Abu Dhabi today
Abu Dhabi, UAE, 15 March 2015: Today (Friday 13 March), the highly anticipated leg of the FINA Hosa 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup saw over 70 of the world’s finest swimmers from 20 countries take to the Abu Dhabi waters for what was one of the most thrilling swimming races of the season.
French swimmer, Axel Reymond, struck gold at the FINA Hosa 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup today (Friday 13 March) concluding the race in 01:57:52. Reymond beat second and third place finishers – Britain’s Jack Burnell and Germany’s Christian Reichert by just 1.5 seconds.
“I couldn’t believe I won until I was given the gold medal! It was an extraordinary race and I kept going hard consistently throughout the 10km until I crossed the finish line. I usually compete in 25km competitions so it was great to do this and ace it. This is my first gold medal at a FINA Hosa 10km World Cup and looks like it won’t be my last one,” said 20-year-old Reymond.
Another rising star on the podium today was Jack Burnell who at the age of 21-years-old has already amassed a series of medals and world titles. Burnell earned his first international stripes in 2010, finishing fourth in the 1500m Freestyle at the 2010 European Junior Championships in Helsinki.
”Today’s race was absolutely fantastic! It’s in the middle of our hard training season so this competition was a test to see what we can do. I’m really pleased with the performance today. It was also absolutely brilliant all these people cheering you on, you can’t really ask for a much better back drop with these magnificent skyscrapers and the sun,” said Jack.
Thirty-one-year-old World Champion and swimming torpedo, Reichert, said: “The race was good and the weather was definitely better than when we first arrived this week. It wasn’t as choppy as yesterday so the conditions were perfect. There were a lot of people watching and it’s always nice when there are many people supporting the swimmers at these 10km races.”
“I like the unpredictability of 10km races because anything can happen. I basically conserved my energy until the end when I just made a dash for the finish line. I’m always swimming to win,” added Christian, who was beaming with happiness as he left the water.
On the women’s side, Italy’s Rachele Bruni cracked the podium with a time of 02:07:31, taking a second gold medal this season after round one of the World Cup in Viedma, Argentina. China’s Siyu Yan clinched a second place finish 2.7 seconds behind Rachele followed by bronze medallist Britain’s Keri-Anne Payne.
“Today’s race was about trying something new and a different experience. The competition wasn’t a qualification for us; it was an opportunity to get some training so that’s what I did today,” said Keri-Anne, Olympic silver medallist and one of the world’s best open water swimmers.
“The infrastructure here is fantastic, all these tents and the availability of the food and drink is great. The athletes section was brilliant! There were places we could actually sit and relax for five minutes before the race. The atmosphere was great and people who were watching could really get involved,” she added.
Host organisers, Abu Dhabi Sports Council and UAE Swimming Federation, were glad to have delivered yet another successful milestone in the history of the sport in the UAE’s capital. “Congratulations to all the swimmers who participated in today’s spectacular race and I hope it was a memorable experience for everyone here on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche. The UAE capital was the perfect stage for round two of the World Cup and we are thrilled to have played a key role in supporting the development of the sport in the UAE,” said ADSC’s General Secretary, H.E. Aref Al Awani.
UAE Swimming Federation’s President, Ahmed Al Falasi, enjoyed the close-fought race and was delighted to see some of the world’s youngest swimmers score a podium finish in today’s race. “Today’s champions are the world’s rising stars in long distance swimming and it is inspirational to see that kind of talent right here in Abu Dhabi. We were also glad to see three of our very own young Emirati talents compete today alongside the fastest swimmers in the world.”
“I would like to thank all our supporters who worked tirelessly to host this fascinating event on the shores of the UAE’s capital. We are happy to welcome back the FINA World Cup to the Emirate and look forward to staging an even bigger and better spectacle next year.”