There are precious few opportunities for the Olympic marathon swimming gold medal favorites to go head-to-head with one another.
Cancún, Mexico presented the last of those rare opportunities.
The hard-fought 10 kilometer battle in the beautiful tropical setting did not disappoint. The finish was literally too close to call. For 45 minutes as an international group of officials poured over the photo finish … frame-by-frame.
The race was a dead heat to the naked eye… and on film.
The race only points out how sensational, how dramatic, how unpredictable the Olympic 10 kilometer Marathon Swim will be in the shadows of Buckingham Palace this August.
It will be a race like no other. It will have the greatest television viewership in history. It will have he fastest open water swimmers in the planet swimming like they have never done before. Coming down to a sprint finish, like in Cancún.
Live before a worldwide television audience with millions more online and over 30,000 people lining the shores of the Serpentine in Hyde Park, the world’s fastest open water swimmers will put on a thrilling race with a most dramatic finish, like in Cancún.
In Cancún, the top men included Olympic gold medal favorites Thomas Lurz of Germany and Spyridon Gianniotis of Greece. Both Lurz and Giannotis are supremely fit, savvy veterans of the world’s waterways, and yet they were surrounded in a tightly wound pack, including…Olympic 1500m gold medalist Ous Mellouli from Tunisia, English Channel record holder Petar Stoychev and a host of other Olympians from around the world…Julien Sauvage of France, Brian Ryckeman of Belgium, Andreas Waschburger of Germany, Igor Snitko and Igor Chervynskiy of Ukraine, Luis Escobar of Mexico, Csaba Gercsak of Hungary, and Rostislav Vitek of the Czech Republic.
With dozens of world championship titles under the swim caps of this field of aquatic gladiators, Cancun was an all-out, gut-wrenching sprint that was the last preview of the most highly anticipated finish at the London Olympics.
With no lanes, no walls and no mercy, the men were tactical and tough, fast and physical, focused and fit. Olympic heroes of the deep, each slicing through the turbulent waters like streamlined dolphins.
After huddling around the television monitor for 45 minutes, the judges awarded victory to Lurz over his Greek arch-rival.
But come this August, add Australian star Ky Hurst, Russians Vladimir Dyatchin and Sergey Bolshakov, Spaniard Francisco Hervas and American Alex Meyer to the mix and we can only expect the unexpected.
Photos courtesy of Fly Me Cancun.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source