Courtesy of Maratón Acuática Internacional Santa Fe – Coronda, Río Coronda, Argentina.

On February 4th 2018, the 44th edition of the Maratón Acuática Internacional Santa Fe – Coronda will take place, the opening race of the 2018 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit.

20 swimmers from 9 countries are expected to compete in the 57 km river swim, lead by a fast local delegation including defending champion Damián Blaum, defending Grand Prix champion Guillermo Bértola, and the 2011 women’s winner, 4-time Olympian and mother Cecilia Biagioli.

Macedonian and co-champion of the 2017 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit Evgenij Pop Acev, the always tough Italian duo Simone Ercoli and Edoardo Stochino, German veteran Alexander Studzinski, Brazilian Matheus Evangelista, and 2008 Syrian Olympian Saleh Mohammad will also compete.

Defending champion and 2017 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit champion Barbara Pozzobón is the favored women who will compete against her Italian teammate Ilaria Raimondi and Russians Daria Kulik and Anna Mankevich.

Together with Bértola, Pop Acev was nominated for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year among 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)

His nomination reads, “Evgenij Pop Acev travels the world representing Macedonia, not exactly considered a swimming hotbed. But the 29-year-old puts his mind in the right spot and attacks professional marathon swims and international competitions around the world. This year, he won the overall title for the second time in his career, tying with Guillermo Bertola in the closest battle in FINA history. He finished 3rd in the 57 km Maratón Acuática Internacional Santa Fe – Coronda, finished 4th in the 16 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli, finished 3rd in the 32 km Traversée international du lac St-Jean, and finished 2nd in the 33 km Ohrid Lake Swimming Marathon.

For representing his country well as a personable, seriously-minded ambassador on the international swimming scene, for training hard and serving as an inspiration in Macedonia, and for winning his second career title on the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit, Evgenij Pop Acev is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.

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

Similarly, Pozzobón was nominated for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year and is among the following individuals:

1. Katherine Batts (Great Britain)
2. Dr. Caroline Block (USA)
3. Arianna Bridi (Italy)
4. Chloë McCardel (Australia)
5. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil)
6. Pat Gallant-Charette (USA)
7. Ludmila Maller (Russia)
8. Jaimie Monahan (USA)
9. Aurélie Muller (France)
10. Barbara Pozzobón (Italy)
11. Sarah Thomas (USA)
12. Julia Wittig(Germany)

Pozzobón nomination reads, “Barbara Pozzobón swam further faster than anyone else in the marathon swimming world. She won the 57 km Maratón Acuática Internacional Santa Fe – Coronda in Argentina over world champion Aurélie Muller, finished second in the 32 km Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean in Canada, won the 30 km Ohrid Lake Marathon in Macedonia, and finished 4th in the 16 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli in Italy to capture the 2017 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix title. In addition to winning her first FINA career title, she finished 6th in the World University Games 10 km in Taiwan.

For finishing only 37 seconds behind the men’s winner at the Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli, for coming into her own in her breakout year competing very well in all kinds of conditions, for representing her country well in a number of international competitions across four continents, Barbara Pozzobón is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

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

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