FINA announced its Athletes of the Year for 2012.

Based on a vote of its 202 National Member Federations, media representatives and aquatic experts, the FINA Open Water Swimming Athletes of 2012 are, not surprisingly, Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia and Eva Risztov of Hungary.

The pair swam to gold medal victories in the Olympic 10km Marathon Swim in the Serpentine with bold, brilliant strategies backed up with tremendous speed and stamina.

The backstory of Mellouli’s marathon swimming victory is here. An analysis of Risztov’s winning strategy is posted here. For plenty of information on the Olympic 10km Marathon Swim at the 2012 London Olympics, visit here.

In the other aquatic disciplines, FINA selected American Michael Phelps (2012 Olympic champion in 200m IM, 100m fly, 4x100m medley, 4x200m free; Olympic silver medalist in 200m fly and 4x100m free) and American Missy Franklin (2012 Olympic champion in 200m back, 100m back, 4x200m free and 4x100m medley; Olympic bronze medalist in 4x100m free) as its Swimming Athletes of the Year; Russian Ilya Zakharov (2012 Olympic champion in 3m springboard and silver medalist in 3m springboard synchro) and Chinese Wu Minxia (2012 Olympic champion in 3m springboard and 3m springboard synchro) as its Diving Athletes of the Year; Croatian Josip Pavic (2012 Olympic champion; 2012 World League winner) and American Maggie Steffens (2012 Olympic champion; 2012 World League winner) as its Water Polo Players of the Year; and Russian Natalia Ishchenko (2012 Olympic champion in Duet and Team) as its Synchronized Swimmer of the Year.

For the history of these awards, see here.

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