World champions ready for open water action!

Lausanne, Jan 29, 2014: Poliana Okimoto (BRA), Martina Grimaldi (ITA), Thomas Lurz (GER) and Spyridon Gianniotis (GRE) were among those to win big at the last FINA World Championships in Barcelona, each of them capturing gold.

The World champions will be among the big names of open water swimming to attend the inaugural leg of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup 2014, taking place in Viedma (ARG), on Saturday February 1.

In all, 66 swimmers (37 men and 29 women) from 14 countries will be hitting the water.

Part of this stellar line-up are Angela Maurer (GER) and Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA), both multi-medallists in Barcelona and no strangers to 10km World Cup podiums. Maurer won the Series in 2007, 2008 and 2011 while Cunha topped the overall rankings in 2010 and 2012.

In the men’s field, Thomas Lurz is the swimmer to beat. The German great is the owner of two Olympic medals (a silver and bronze), a record 20 World championships medals (12 of them gold) and is a three-time winner of the 10km World Cup (2009, 2011 and 2013). One of Lurz’ ever-looming threats is Greece’s Spyridon Gianniotis, two-time 10km World champion. Gianniotis edged Lurz by the slimmest of margins in the event both in Shanghai (2011) and Barcelona (2013). He also ranked first in the 10km World Cup in 2012.

The World Cup’s remaining six stages will be organised in Manzanillo (MEX) on April 5, Setubal (POR) on June 28, Lac St. Jean (CAN) on July 24, Lac Magog (CAN) on July 31, Lac Megantic (CAN) on August 9, and Hong Kong (HKG) on October 4.

On Sunday February 2, FINA’s second open water swimming pro circuit, the Grand Prix, will kick off with the 57km Santa Fe-Coronda race. A total 29 swimmers will take the departure.

The Grand Prix will continue in Hernandarias (ARG) on February 9, Manzanillo (MEX) on March 29, Lac St. Jean (CAN) on July 26, Lac Magog (CAN) on August 2, Ohrid Lake (MKD, dates tbc) and Capri-Napoli (ITA) on September 6. —- FINA

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