Ous Mellouli
Courtesy of: Greg Eggert
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By Steven Munatones, Swimming World correspondent, Open Water Course

BARCELONA, Spain, July 20. THE world knows that Ous Mellouli is going to be a factor in every race he enters, but only the Canadians knew what they had in store at the 2013 FINA World Championships.

Mellouli kicked off the championships with his second straight gold medal victory in a major open water race after his dominant 10 km victory at the 2012 Olympics last summer (shown on left from London). "I didn't expect to win the 5 km. I am really happy with the results. I did take six months off and got back into training not too long ago. To be on top of the world is quite exciting for me."

And excitement ran deep throughout the podium winners. The silver medal for Canadian Eric Hedlin was especially welcomed by the newcomer. He pushed Mellouli and forced the Tunisian to dig deep and win over the last 100 meters. But the 20-year-old certainly showed the world that Canada is on track to make some serious waves in the open water world.

The final results in the opening salvo of the open water competition among the highest echelon of men. Some excellent showings by Chad Ho (4th), Jarrod Port of Australia (5th), Samuel de Bona of Brazil (6th), and Ivan Endrica of Ecuador (7th) gives a hint of the not-so-surprising hunger of the next generation of open water stars.

1. Oussama Mellouli (TUNISIA) 53:30.4
2. Eric Hedlin (CANADA) 53:31.6
3. Thomas Lurz (GERMANY) 53:32.2
4. Chad Ho (SOUTH AFRICA) 53:33.7
5. Jarrod Poort (AUSTRALIA) 53:34.3
6. Samuel De Bona (BRAZIL) 53:34.9
7. Ivan Alejandro Endrica Ochoa (ECUADOR) 53:36.7
8. Sergey Bolshakov (RUSSIA) 53:36.8
9. Damien Cattin-Vidal (FRANCE) 53:38.4
10. Damien Cattin-Vidal (FRANCE) 53:38.4

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