By Chaker Belhadj
FINA Press Commission Member
SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt, September 25, 2002. GERMANY'S Britta Kamrau and Russia's Evgueni Koshkarov emerged triumphant in the 10K open water swims at the 2nd FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships, being held at the Egyptian seaside resort city of Sharm El Sheikh. Kamrau won in 1 hour 56 minutes 42 seconds, while Koshkarov was the fastest man at 1:49:30.
In the women’s race, after six-plus miles of swimming, the race was not decided until the very last stroke as the Italian, Viola Valli (first in the 5 km on Monday), crossed the finish lane only three-hundredths of a second behind the German swimmer. The win is the first world title for Britta Kamrau, sixth last year in the 9th FINA World Championships in Fukuoka, second in the FINA Marathon Swimming World Cup 2001 and currently in the third position in the overall rankings of the 2002 edition of the Marathon World Cup.
Angela Maurer, also from Germany, was third in 1:56:49 and Edith van Dijk (NED), second in the 5 km and winner of the 10 km in the first edition of the FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships in Honolulu (2000), finished in the fourth position.
In the men’s competition, the race also came down to the wire with the 20 year-old Koshkarov winning by a margin of four seconds over the Italian Simone Ercoli. Vladimir Diattchine (RUS) took the last place on the podium in 1:49:35. For Koshkarov it is also his first major international success, while his teammate Diattchine was second in Fukuoka 2001.
10 km – Men
1. Evgueni Koshkarov (RUS) 1:49:30
2. Simone Ercoli (ITA) 1:49:34
3. Vladimir Diattchine (RUS) 1:49:35
10 km – Women
1. Britta Kamrau (GER) 1:56:42.25
2. Viola Valli (ITA) 1:56:42.28
3. Angela Maurer (GER) 1:56:49