Influencers From Alexandria

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Nasser Elshazly is not only an Honor Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as his father Captain Nabil Elshazly is, they both helped to widely promote the sport and support many events and other swimmers, both domestically in their native country of Egypt, and internationally with their global network – see their WOWSA Live interview below.

Just two of many examples include the times that Nasser served as the technical director for professional and world-class marathon races.

The Sharm El Sheikh race was one of the stops on the 2001 FINA World Cup circuit and a trial for the 5 km, 10 km and 25 km FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships the next year in 2002.* Sharm El Sheikh was held on a 20 km course under a very nice weather in October 27°C air temperature and 25°C water temperature. Nasser recalls, “The venue was a 1 km triangle course where the athletes swam 20 laps inside the Naama Bay where the water is very clear as usual in the Red Sea on the Sinai Peninsula. There was no wind or tides or waves. That course later served as the course for 5 km and 10 km races at the 2002 worlds.”

Nasser was serving on the Egypt Long Distance Swimming Federation during the Alexandria marathon in 1997. He describes the race, “The venue was a triangle course of 20 km with 25 loops of 800 meters each. The swim was in a small harbor with no waves, no winds and no tide with the water temperature of 23-24°C under nice sunny skies at 26°C. David Meca of Spain won the 20 km race in 4 hours 27 minutes just ahead of Igor Majcen of Slovenia.

Egypt used to host the swimmers and coaches for free during the week plus offer ground transportation including to and from the airport with prize money offered to both men and women. It was a nice awards ceremony where all the big names of that era swam in Egypt for many years like John Kinsella, Bill Heiss, Doug Northway, Claudio Plit, Paul Asmuth, James Kegley, Robert Lachance, Raymond Dixon and Irene van der Laan.”

*The 2nd FINA Open Water Swimming World Championships were held in September 2002 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt with 89 swimmers from 26 countries competing in 6 races:

Women’s 5 km Podium Finishers
Gold: Viola Valli (Italy) 56:52 [shown above]
Silver: Edith van Dijk (Netherlands) 57:01 [shown above]
Bronze: Hanna Miluska (Switzerland) 58:13
Men’s 5 km Podium Finishers
Gold: Luca Baldini (Italy) 51:49.78
Silver Stefano Rubando (Italy) 51:51.20
Bronze: Thomas Lurz (Germany) 51:52.43
Women’s 10 km Podium Finishers
Gold: Britta Kamrau (Germany) 1:56:42.25
Silver: Viola Valli (Italy) 1:56:42.28
Bronze: Angela Maurer (Germany) 1:56:49
Men’s 10 km Podium Finishers
Gold: Ivgueni Kochkarov (Russia) 1:49:30
Silver: Simone Ercoli (Italy) 1:49:34
Bronze: Vladimir Dyatchin (Russia) 1:49:35
Women’s 25 km Podium Finishers
Gold: Edith van Dijk (Netherlands) 6:11:21
Silver: Angela Maurer (Germany) 6:11:22.43
Bronze: Britta Kamrau (Germany) 6:11:22.70
Men’s 25 km Podium Finishers
Gold: Yuri Kudinov (Russia) 5:39:14
Silver: Anton Sanatchev (Russia) 5:41:14
Bronze: Gabriel Chaillou (Argentina) 5:51:16

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