Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Like actors Michael Caine or Kevin Bacon, Evgenij Pop Acev always seems to be seen everywhere. The Macedonian marathon swimmer always shows up and competes in the major marathon races around the world. He never quits and always performs well, but 2015 was definitely his Academy Award-winning year.

The 27-year-old swimmer won the 2015 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix title for the first time in his career. It was a fitting cumulation to a long season in which he placed consistently at all the stops on the professional circuit in Argentina (fourth in the 25 km Maratón Internacional Aguas Abiertas Villa Urquiza – Paraná), Mexico (sixth in the 15 km Maratón Cancún), Canada (fifth in the 32 km Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean), Macedonia (first in the 33 km Охридски Пливачки Маратон, Ohridski Plivački Maraton) and Italy (second in the 36 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli) as well as finished 14th at the 25 km FINA World Championship race and concurrently competes on the FINA/HOSA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit where he is currently ranked 25th after competing in the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Mexico (Cancún), Hungary (Balatonfured), Portugal (Setúbal Bay), and Canada (Lac St-Jean and Lac-Mégantic.

Final 2015 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Rankings:
1 Evgenij Pop Acev (MKD) 49
2 Bertrand Venturi (FRA) 39
3 Xavier Desharnais (CAN) 34
4 Simone Ercoli (ITA) 33
5 Damian Blaum (ARG) 22
6 Alexander Studzinski (GER) 21
7 Evangelista Matheus (BRA) 21 8 Edoardo Stochino (ITA) 14
9 Tomi Stefanovski (MKD) 9
10 Aleksandar Illievski (MKD) 7
11 Samir Barel (BRA) 6
12 Aquiles Balaudo (ARG) 4

The following swimmers participated in a few races, but are included in the final rankings because they did not participate in a minimum number of races according to FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Rules & Regulations

13 Philippe Guertin (CAN) 19
14 Mario Sanzullo (ITA) 15
15 Ferry Weertman (NED) 15
16 Hugo Ribeiro (POR) 13
17 Brian Ryckeman (BEL) 11
17 Tiago Sato (BRA) 9
19 Marcel Schouten (NED) 7
20 Erwin Maldonado (VEN) 6
21 Tsvetan Yordanov (BUL) 4
22 Vitaly Khudyakov (KAZ) 3
23 Marcos Rodrigues (BRA) 2
24 Luciano Sales (ARG) 2
25 Emanuel Brondo (ARG) 2
26 Mauricio Gatica (ARG) 2
27 Fernando Ciaramella (ARG) 2
28 Billian Davy (BEL) 2
29 Wesley Joris (BEL) 2
30 Dausto Brondo (ARG) 2
31 Vit Ingeduld (CZE) 2
32 Gabriele Maria Mento (ITA) 0
33 Nicolas Seguardo (ARG) 0
34 Valerio Cleri (ITA) 0
35 Davide Cannata (ITA) 0
36 Simon Pistor (GER) 0
37 Gabriel Pouliot (CAN) 0
38 Aleksandar Pancevski (MKD) 0
39 Mattia Ferru (ITA) 0
Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association