By Phillip Whitten
PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain, July 8. There were plenty of fast times today, but few close races, in the 5,000 meter open water swim, the final swimming event at the 2001 European Masters Swimming Championships in Palma de Mallorca. The few close races, however, produced the day's fastest times.
Some 409 swimmers competed in the 5K: 281 men and 128 women.
Germany's Uwe Liebermann won the men's event in the 35-39 age group in 56:14.0, the fastest time of the day. He needed all of that speed just to eke out a win, as the next six finishers in his age group followed within 35 seconds.
Second place went to Russia's Alex Vozniak, whose 56:19.8 was faster than the winners in any other age group. Holland's Edwin Van Norden was third in 56:30.0.
The 30-34 division was won by France's Vann Cordier in 56:23.8, with Germany's Gernot Ziegauss right behind in 56:31.5.
Germany's Uwe Steinkotter took the 25-29 age group in 56:26.2, with countryman Alex Janitzki a close second at 56:37.1.
The 40-44 division went to Italy's Stefano Seguiti in 56:36.9, a time that would have stood up well in any of the three younger age groups.
Italy's Fabrizio Momoni, who was spectacular in the pool, proved he has no equal no matter where they put the water. The Italian ace took the 60-64 age group in 1:02.00.4.
Switzerland's Nadia Krueger was one of four 5K winners from her tiny landlocked nation. Krueger took the women's 30-34 age group in 56:24.1 – the fastest women's time in the entire competition and only ten seconds slower than the fastest man. (That comes to about a two-tenths of a second difference per 100 meters.)
Krueger did not have an easy time of it, as Italy's Barbara Grillo (56:31.8) pressed her all the way.
The only other sub-hour winning performance was turned in by Germany's Mieke Smet, who won the 25-29 division in 56:25.8, four tenths of a second ahead of the fastest man in the age group.
In the 40-44 race, Germany's Barbara Gellrich edged Switzerland's Esther Iseppi, 1:01:47.0 to 1:01:56.0.
Italy's Cristina Tarantino outlasted her countrywoman, Suysan Skiff, to take the 45-49 age group, 1:02:13.1 to 1:02:53.7.
Ireland's Claire O'Dwyer proved she's as dominant in open water as in the pool, easily winning the 60-64 age group in 1:27:16.0.
65-69 Josef Krejci, SUI 1:17:06.0
60-64 Fabrizio Momoni, ITA 1:02:00.4
55-59 Mario Paterni, ITA 1:02:16.0
50-54 Donald Uitjenbogaart, HOL 1:00:11.8
45-49 Tony Morris, IRL 1:00:11.1
40-44 Stefano Seguiti, ITA 56:36.9
35-39 Uwe Liebermann, GER 56:14.0
30-34 Vann Cordier, FRA 56:23.8
25-29 Uwe Steinkotter, GER 56:26.2
65-69 Lenie Van der Meer, HOL 1:47:20.0
60-64 Claire O'Dwyer, IRL 1:27:16.0
55-59 Marion Slater, ESP 1:25:58.0
50-54 Mireille Richter, SUI 1:14:41.0
45-49 Cristina Tarantino, ITA 1:02:13.1
40-44 Barbara Gellrich, GER 1:01:47.0
35-39 Susanne Reibel-Oberle, GER 1:00:02.0
30-34 Nadia Krueger, SUI 56:24.1
25-29 Mieke Smet, GER 56:25.8