When Dimitar Petrov And Stéphane Lecat Raced The SuperFinal

Courtesy of KAATSU Global, Huntington Beach, California.

107 professional marathon swimmers competed on the 1995-1996 Marathon Swimming World Series sanctioned by the International Marathon Swimming Association (IMSA). Dimitar Petrov of Bulgaria and Karen Burton of the USA were crowned world champions.

Petrov beat Frenchman Stéphane Lecat by only 24 points, 1967 to 1943. Lecat had gone on a tear towards the end of the season winning race after race. Meanwhile, Petrov was solid throughout the year, consistently performing well enough to maintain his early season lead. The last race on the professional marathon swimming circuit in Quebec, Canada was called the SuperFinal and gave the athletes extra points. Before the Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean in Quebec, Canada, Petrov knew that Lecat would be the likely winner. And Lecat knew that he had to beat his Bulgarian rival by 44 minutes to overtake him for the IMSA title.

The Bulgarian set off on his strategy to stick with his French rival for as long as possible. Lecat eventually won in 9 hours 39 minutes as expected, but Petrov hung on strongly for second place, narrowly beating Attila Molnar of Hungary 9 hours 59 minutes to 10 hours 0 minutes. Petrov was able to lock up enough points on the last race to take the IMSA title.

Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean SuperFinal Men’s results:
1. Stéphane Lecat (France) 9 hours 39 minutes 58 seconds
2. Dimitar Petrov (Bulgaria) 9 hours 58 minutes 12 seconds
3. Attila Molnar (Hungary) 10 hours 0 minutes 30 seconds
4. Jean-François Roussy (Canada) 10 hours 21 minutes 49 seconds
5. Mohamed Marouf (Egypt) 10 hours 28 minutes 29 seconds
6. Michael Drozd (Czech Republic) 10 hours 37 minutes 5 seconds
7. Michal Beranek (Czech Republic) 11 hours 13 minutes 52 seconds
8. Claudio Plit (Argentina) 11 hours 20 minutes 44 seconds
9. Ahmed Abdalla (Egypt) 11 hours 38 minutes 56 seconds
10. Sebastian Bolduc (Canada) 11 hours 39 minutes 58 seconds

Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean SuperFinal Women’s results:
1. Edith van Dijk (Holland) 10 hours 6 minutes 18 seconds
2. Karen Burton (USA) 10 hours 43 minutes 10 seconds
3. Kathrin Lammers (Germany) 10 hours 58 minutes 55 seconds
4. Heidi Levasseur (Canada) 11 hours 15 minutes 23 seconds
5. Silvia Dalotto (Argentina) 11 hours 21 minutes 9 seconds
OTL Irene van der Laan (Holland) 12 hours 13 minutes 6 seconds
DNF Yuko Matsuzaki (Japan), Julio Fernandez (Argentina), Liza Hazen (USA), Dusan Toth-Szabo (Hungary), Anne Chagnaud (France), Vanessa Bouisset (France), Alexander Leduc (Canada), Diego Flietas (Argentina), Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia)

1995-1996 IMSA Men’s Rankings:
1. Dimitar Petrov (Bulgaria) 1,967 points
2. Stéphane Lecat (France) 1,720 points
3. Attila Molnar (Hungary) 1,720 points
4. Michael Drozd (Czech Republic) 1,366 points
5. Jean-François Roussy (Canada) 1,208 points
6. Mohamed Marouf (Egypt) 669 points
7. Claudio Plit (Argentina) 468 points
8. Ahmed Abdalla (Egypt) 441 points

1995-1996 IMSA Men’s Rankings:
1. Karen Burton (USA) 1,821 points
2. Silvia Dalotto (Argentina) 1,402 points
3. Edith van Dijk (Netherlands) 1,305 points
4. Kathrin Lammers (Germany) 1,060 points
5. Irene van der Laan (Netherlands) 571 points

Lecat appeared on a recent edition of WOWSA Live [see below] while Petrov appeared in July 2014 on Swimming World’s Morning Swim Show [see above]:

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