Damian Blaum, Olga Kozydub Named Overall Winners of FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, September 2. DAMIAN Blaum, from Argentina, and Olga Kozydub, from Russia, are the overall winners of the 2013 circuit of the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix, whose eighth and final leg (36km) was held between Capri and Napoli, in Italy, on September 1.

Blaum, who participated in all the 2013 events, totalled 62 points, slightly better than Evgenij Pop Acev, from the Republic of Macedonia, who was second with 61. The third best this year was Italy’s Simone Ercoli, finishing with 53 points. In the traditional Capri-Napoli crossing, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2013, Blaum concluded in 10th, Pop Acev was second, while Ercoli was fourth. The victory in Napoli went to Brian Ryckerman, from Belgium, in a time of 6h13m55ss — Pop Acev arrived six seconds later, while the bronze went to Joanes Hedel, from France, in 6h14m28s.

In the women’s field, Kozydub, who also swam all the eight races of the season, led the ranking with 111 points, being followed by Esther Nunez (ESP, 72) and by Martina Grimaldi (ITA, 66). These three swimmers were present in Capri-Napoli, and finished respectively in third, fifth and first. Grimaldi touched home in a winning time of 6h31m26, while Karla Sitic (CRO) got the silver in 6h38m17s. Kozydub took the bronze in 6h40m00s. The Russian athlete was the winner of three events in 2013, in Santa Fe (ARG), Lac St-Jean and Lac Magog (both in Canada).

Since 2007, Damian Blaum had been second of the overall ranking on four occasions (2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012), and got therefore his first overall win of the series. For both Pop Acev and Ercoli, this is their first presence in the top-3 of the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix. While this is also a premi?re for Kozydub and Grimaldi, Esther Nunez is a regular presence in the highest places of the ranking: she was first in 2007 and 2012, second in 2010 and 2011, and third in 2008.

The 2013 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix was organised in: Rosario, Santa Fe and Parana (the first three races in Argentina), then in Cozumel (MEX), Lac St-Jean and Lac Magog (CAN), and finally in Europe, in Ohrid Lake (MKD) and Capri-Napoli (ITA).

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