Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

13 participants will compete on November 25th in the qualification race for the 44th edition of the 57 km Maratón Acuática Internacional Santa Fe – Coronda in Argentina that will be held on February 4th 2018.

The 13 aspirants (6 women and 7 men) must complete the Selectivo qualification course in 4 hours 40 minutes – and they will be competing with four special guest swimmers.

Guillermo Bértola (the current FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix world champion), Cecilia Biagioli (4-time Olympian and winner of the 2011 Maratón Acuática Internacional Santa Fe – Coronda), Nicolás Segurado (winner of the 2016 qualification race) and Aquiles Balaudo (Top 10 of the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix world rankings) will also participate in the qualification race as a promotional exhibition.

The psych sheet includes Cintia Roxana Alonso, Marcela Cecilia Merino, Daira Eluney Marín, Natasha Sondon, Erika Yenssen, María José Sánchez, José Ignacio Ravagna, Mauricio Gatica, Rodrigo Nicolás Esteban, Martín Grossi, Fausto Emanuel Brondo, Javier Brusa, and Fernando Ciaramella.

Bértola explains his marathon swimming perspective. “Sometimes I wonder why I do it if I suffer so much. Because it is not normal, it is not human. But when it comes to touching the plate after six hours of swimming, it’s very rewarding.”

The 28-year-old Córdoba native was rewarded for his efforts in 2017. He was nominated for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year as he shared the 2017 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix title with Evgenij Pop Acev.

The World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year nominees include the following individuals:

1. Evgenij Pop Acev (Macedonia)
2. Antonio Argüelles (Mexico)
3. John Batchelder (USA)
4. Guillermo Bértola (Argentina)
5. Avram Iancu (Romania)
6. Stéphane Lecat (France)
7. Dr. Lucky Meisenheimer (USA)
8. Lynton Mortensen (Australia)
9. Simone Ruffini (Italy)
10. Petar Stoychev (Bulgaria)
11. Sayed Ihsan Taheri (Afghanistan)
12. Ferry Weertman (Netherlands)
13. Philip Yorke (Great Britain)

Bértola’s nomination reads, “Guillermo Bertola looks like an athlete with a hardened body and steely gaze. While he has been competing on the professional marathon swimming circuits for years, he has never risen to the top…until this year. The 27-year-old puts his mind in the right spot and aggressively attacks his training and professional marathon races around the world. This year, he won the overall title for the first time in his career, tying with Evgenij Pop Acev in the closest battle in FINA history. He won the 32 km Traversée international du lac St-Jean in Canada and finished 3rd in the 16 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli in Italy and the 33 km Ohrid Lake Swimming Marathon in Macedonia. He also competed in the FINA 10K World Cup circuit from Argentina to the UAE and competed in the 5 km team, 10 km and 25 km races at the 2017 FINA World Championships.

He not only represents Argentina extraordinarily well as a personable, seriously-minded ambassador on the international swimming scene, but he also serves as an inspiration among young Argentine swimmers.

To register and vote on the WOWSA Awards and the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, visit here.

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