PERTH, Australia, February 3. AS the sun began to rise over the Swan River in Perth, hundreds of open water swimmers gathered at the Barrack Street Jetty, ready to take to the river for the 2014 BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series Swim the Swan challenge.
With over $100,000 worth of cash and prizes up for grabs and the 10km elite race doubling as the Australian Championships and a selection event, the Swim the Swan attracted over 450 swimmers from all over Australia and the world.
The mixed 500m recreational event kicked off proceedings with the 1.25kmm, 2.5km and 5km swims before the 10km wave got underway.
In the men’s elite 10km event, London Olympian and FINA World championship representative Jarrod Poort (1:54.16.18) was the first Australian through the gate, picking up his first ever national 10km title.
In a quality field that included West Australian locals and fellow members of the Barcelona World championship team, Simon Huitenga (1:54.21.10) and Rhys Mainstone (1:54.23.66) as well as South African Troyden Prinsloo (1:54.34.82). Poort said he was expecting a tough race.
“I knew it was going to be difficult coming up against Rhys, Simon and all of the international boys so my goal was to stick with the pack and take it easy for the first 7.5km and then just give it everything in that last lap and hope my speed work from the pool would pay off,” Poort said.
After finishing 12th and 13th respectively in this event in Barcelona, Huitenga and Mainstone were again in close proximity as they approached the finishing gate this morning, with Huitenga sneaking into second place relegating Mainstone to third.
In the corresponding women’s event, 15-year-old Chelsea Gubecka successfully defended her 10km open water title from 2013, hitting the gate just behind the American duo of Ashley Twichell (2:03.51.27) and Haley Anderson (2:04.17.41) in a time of 2:04.18.94.
Queenslander Kareena Lee was the second Australian through the gate, finishing sixth overall in 2:04.43.85 with Jessica Walker just behind in 2:04.47.61.
The top three Australians in both the men and women’s elite 10km event have now improved their chances of gaining selection onto the 2014 Hancock Prospecting Pan Pacific Championships, to be held on the Gold Coast in August this year.
The above article is a press release submitted to Swimming World. To reach our audience, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.