23 top professional marathon swimmers from 9 countries competed in the always difficult 57K 37th Maraton Acuatica Internacional Santa Fe – Coronda on Sunday, swimming before thousands of supportive fans in the quick-moving Coroda River in Argentina.
Prior to the main race, a promotional sprint race was held at the finish area in Coronda, followed a parade of the athletes through the town in speedboats on trailers. The crowds turned out to watch the parade and support the athletes with excellent TV, radio and print coverage of the sprint race. The 57K race – which connects that communities of Santa Fe and Coronda – is truly a special event that is enjoyed by tens of thousands of local people who treat the swimmers like stars.
The river was at a high level, significantly higher than previous years so the course was very fast when the athletes were swimming downstream, but conversely much harder for the athletes when they swam in the portions of the race that went against the current.
According to FINA Delegate John West, Gabriel Villagoiz and Guillermo Bertola, both of Argentina took off and lead the pack at the start, but several lead changes occurred between the Argentinian teammates and Rok Kerin of the Czech Republic and Edoardo Stochino of Italy. Also in the lead pack were Alexander Studzinski of Germany, Damien Blaum of Argentina, Andrea Volpini and Rodolfo Valenti, both of Italy.
At the six-hour mark, Alexander forged a 50-meter lead, but was chased by Peter Stoychev of Bulgaria and Rodolfo. Peter continued to eat away at Alexander’s lead and took over the lead with 600 meters to go as over 200 boats followed the swimmers along the course, creating a festive, but safe, atmosphere throughout. Petar, as he has so consistently and dramatically done over the past decade on the professional circuit, held on to a 7-second victory over Alexander as the top three men broke the existing record
28-year-old Esther Nunez won her second race in Santa Fe with a comfortable victory of Australian Shelley Clark and Argentina’s Pilar Geijo.
As thousands of spectators lined the river banks wildly cheering the athletes, live television and radio coverage put the professional marathon swimmers in a very positive light.
1. Petar Stoychev (BUL) 6:57:52.04
2. Alexander Studzinski (GER) 6:57:59.49
3. Rodolfo Valenti (ITA) 6:58:58.56
4. Damián Blaum (ARG), 6:59:25.51
5. Andrea Volpini (ITA), 7:00:30.24
6. Libor Smolka (CZE), 7:00:42.70
7. Guillermo Bertola (ARG), 7:01:44.85
8. Edoardo Stochino (ITA), 7:01:52.81
10. Martín Carrizo (ARG), 7:02:25.34
11. Rostislav Vitek (CZE), 7:04:44.49
12. Rok Kerin (SLO), 7:10:46.62
13. Albericco Mattia (ITA), 7:16:43.43
14. Gabriel Villagoiz (ARG), 7:20:29.84
15. Evgenij Pop Acev (MAC), 7:23:34.41
1. Esther Nunez Morera (ESP), 7:26:08.10
2. Shelley Clark (AUS), 7:28:45.54
3. Pilar Geijo (ARG), 7:31:05.34
4. Laura La Piana (ITA), 7:36:52.56
5. Marianella Mendoza (ARG), 7:38:54.59
6. Noelia Petti (ARG), 188.8.131.52
7. Vanesa Garcia (ARG), 184.108.40.206
8. Shereen Mansour (EGY), 7:59.30.27
9. Camilla Frediani (ITA), DNF
International Marathon Swimming Hall of Famer Diego Degano explained the 37th edition of the Santa Fe – Coronda river race in Spanish here:
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