|GDYNIA, Poland, August 27. PETAR Stoychev needed just 3:51:49 to cut two hours off the previous record for the 18K swim between Hel and Gdynia in Poland as part of the Puck Bay BCT Gdynia Marathon meet this weekend. Stoychev's time crushed the previous record that had gone unchallenged since 1966. Australia's Trent Grimsey placed second, just about two minutes back of Stoychev, while USA's Christine Jennings topped the women's field with a winning time of 4:00:40.
A total of 14 swimmers took part in the event on Saturday, with five women and nine men starting and completing the race successfully. Natalia Charlos was the top swimmer from the hosts with a 4:02:29 for second among the women, while Krzysztof Pielowski earned the top Polish time among the men with a fifth-place 4:14:44.
"Our goal is to get FINA patronage for the event next year," BCT Gdynia Marathon spokesperson Dagmara Luczka said. "This being the case, we have to meet all the most restrictive requirements for a long distance swimming event. The marathon was supervised by FINA officials, who were guarding the correct course of the race. We are proud not only because the athletes have shown great sportsmanship, but also that we managed to organize the event on the highest level."
During the race, organizers assigned one support boat with a coach, lifeguard and race official, per competitor to guarantee swimmer safety. The swimmers also were accompanied by a lead boat with two groups of divers and a medical personnel boat.
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