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Anderson and Mellouli capture the first Golds in Open Water

July 20, 2013
(L-R) Medallists Poliana Okimoto Cintra of Brazil (silver), Haley Anderson of USA (gold) and Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil (bronze) pose after the Open Water Swimming Women's 5k race on day one of the 15th FINA World Championships at Moll de la Fusta on July 20, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

(L-R) Medallists Poliana Okimoto Cintra of Brazil (silver), Haley Anderson of USA (gold) and Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil (bronze) pose after the Open Water Swimming Women’s 5k race on day one of the 15th FINA World Championships at Moll de la Fusta on July 20, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Haley Anderson has inaugurated the medal table of Barcelona 2013. The US swimmer created an exciting final in the women´s open water 5 km. Oussama Mellouli, Anderson´s training partner, took the highest spot on the podium in the men´s event. It seems that after winning the last seven World Championships the reign of Thomas Lurz is finally over

Haley Anderson, silver medallist in the 10 km in London 2012, took the lead from the beginning. The relentless pace that she set could only be followed in the first few minutes by compatriot Rebeca Mann and Italian Martina Grimaldi. “I felt very comfortable during the first lap and I decided to set a high pace”, explained Anderson minutes after the competition. It wasn´t until the second half that Anderson´s solitary swim was threatened. 30 year old Brazilian swimmer, Poliana Okimoto, made a break for Haley. After a spectacular change of pace, she took the lead and left the US swimmer a few seconds behind. However, in the final sprint the swimmer from the USA managed to overtake Okimoto, who had finished Bronze in Rome 2009. “I knew that if I managed to keep behind her until the last 300 metres, I would be able to overtake her”, claimed Anderson in the press conference.

The American stopped the clock at 56:34.2, two tenths of a second before the swimmer from Sao Paulo. The bronze went to a fellow Brazilian, Ana Marcela Cunha who, after a great recovery, finished with a time of 56:44.7.

A few hours later, Oussama Mellouli, was proclaimed winner of the men´s 5 k event and ended the domination of German Thomas Lurz, the winner in the distance for the last seven championships. The victory was not decided until the very end when the Olympic Champion of the 10 km and 1,500 m in London 2012, succeeded in the sprint. The North African swimmer, who dominated the race from the first lap, touched base in 53:30.4. “In 2003 I got my first World Championship medal so to be on the podium again in Barcelona is amazing”, he explained in the press conference.

Coming in after Mellouli was the Canadian Eric Hedlin, who clocked 53:31.6 to take second place. “I am really happy because I didn’t expect this result”, he admitted a few minutes after the race. Bronze was for Lurz, who could not keep up with the pace set by Mellouli, with a time of 53:32.2. “In the final sprint Oussama was so much quicker than me and I couldn’t do anything to beat him”, he commented.

Results of Woman’s 5km 2013 World Championship

Results of Men’s 5km 2013 World Championship

bcn2013

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