Thomas Lurz
Courtesy of: Greg Eggert
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BARCELONA, Spain, July 27. Germany's Thomas Lurz, 33 years old, won his first title in the 25km event to become the only male swimmer to have won a gold medal in every open water discipline. "I'm really satisfied with this gold. Now I have been at the top of the podium at every distance in the open water world championships," said the swimmer, who raced a total of 45km, winning a medal in each of four open water events in the last seven days.

Brian Ryckeman of Belgium finished four tenths of a second behind the German swimmer. Russia's Evgeniy Drattcev earned a bronze medal. Russia has won a record 16 world championship medals in 16 editions of FINA open water swimming championships.

Lurz finished third on Saturday in the 5km, an upset of sorts in that Lurz had not lost that event since his first victory in the FINA World Championships in Montreal eight years ago. Lurz had never won a medal in the 25km event having dominated the 5km distance winning seven consecutive world gold medals from 2005 to 2011. Lurz finished second in the 2012 London Olympic Games in the 10km Olympic Swim Marathon improving on his bronze medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the inaugural 10km event. He is the only athlete to have won an open water medal in two Olympic Games.

On Monday of this week Lurz finished less than 3 seconds behind Spyridon Gianniotis of Greece in the Olympic distance. On Thursday he was a member of the three person German squad that won a gold medal in the 5km team event in Barcelona's Moll de la Fusta harbour.

Lurz is the only the second man to win this race in a time under five hours. He finished in 4:46.27.0. Yuri Kudinov of Russia was the first to break five hours swimming 4:55:51.12 in 2000 when he won the first of his five titles in the event.

Martina Grimaldi of Italy won her first title in the 25km in Moll de la Fusta harbour narrowly beating Angela Maurer of Germany. In the 10km distance Grimaldi owns a complete set of open water medals. She was the 10km champion in the 2010 Open water world championships in Roberval, Canada, finished second in the 2011 edition of the FINA World Swimming Championships in Shanghai, and earned a bronze in her own country during the Rome World Championships in 2009.

Maurer hoped to celebrate her 38th birthday today with a gold medal but will have to settle for her second consecutive silver medal in this event. The German swimmer won her first medal in the 25km, a bronze in the very first edition of the FINA Open Water Swimming Championships in Honolulu. Maurer was the world champion in this distance four years ago in the 2009 FINA World Swimming Championships in Rome. Two years ago she earned a silver medal in this event in Shanghai. In this same harbour 10 years Maurer earned a silver medal finishing another Italian swimmer, Viola Valli in the 10K.

Eva Fabian of the USA finished in third place. Fabian won the 5km distance in Roberval, Canada in 2010.

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Results: FINA World Championships, Open Water: 25Ks