LAUSANNE, Switzerland, January 7. FOLLOWING an initiative launched by the FINA Executive in co-operation with the "FINA Aquatics World Magazine", the FINA Family elected the Best Athletes of 2010 in all aquatic disciplines: Swimming (Men & Women), Water Polo (Men & Women), Diving (Men & Women), Synchronised Swimming and Open Water Swimming (Men & Women).
After an initial selection of athletes made by the editorial team of the "FINA Aquatics World Magazine," determined by the results achieved in FINA or continental events, a ballot paper was sent to all the FINA Family (Bureau, Committee and Commission Members, and the 202 National Federations in the five continents), as well as to media representatives attending FINA events, in order to choose one athlete per discipline and gender. Moreover, each voter was free to indicate an athlete's name that was not part of the proposed list.
At the deadline of December 31, 2010 and with more than 570 votes received, the following nine outstanding athletes were voted as the best of the best in 2010:
Men – Ryan Lochte (USA): winner of seven medals at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), in Dubai (UAE)
Women – Therese Alshammar (SWE): overall winner of the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup, two medals at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), in Dubai (UAE)
Men – Vanja Udovicic (SRB): FINA World Cup and FINA World League champion
Women – Elizabeth Armstrong (USA): FINA World Cup and FINA World League champion
Men – Patrick Hausding (GER): Silver medallist at the FINA World Cup (3m), second overall at the FINA World Series (10m synchro)
Women – Ruolin Chen (CHN): Overall winner at the FINA World Series (10m and 10m synchro), Gold (10m synchro) and silver (10m) at the FINA World Cup
Natalia Ishchenko (RUS): Gold medallist at the FINA World Cup (solo and team)
OPEN WATER SWIMMING
Men – Valerio Cleri (ITA): Gold (10km) and silver (25km) at the FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships
Women – Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA): Bronze (5km) at the FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships, overall winner of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup.
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