CORONADO, Argentina, March 3. LOCAL hero Rafael Perez and Holland's Ironwoman, Edith van Dijk, were the winners of the first event of the 2003 edition of the FINA Marathon Swimming World Cup (MSWC), which was held March 3 between Santa Fe and Coronado, Argentina.
The race was 57 km (35.6 miles long) — the longest in the World Cup series — and thousands of spectators followed the swimmers along the two sides of the river.
Perez crossed the line first in 7h 3m 07s, ten seconds in front of the winner of the 2001 and 2002 editions of the World Cup, Petar Stoytchev (BUL) and thirteen seconds ahead of the French Stéphane Gomez.
In the women’s competition, Edith Van Dijk (NED), winner of the 2000 and 2001 editions of the World Cup, began the 2003 season with her 15th victory in a MSWC race, a new record. A duet of famous German swimmers, Britta Kamrau and Angela Maurer, respectively second and first of the 2002 edition World Cup, took the second and third place.
MEN – 1. Rafael Perez (ARG) 7h 31m 07s; 2. Petar Stoytchev (BUL) 7h 31m 17s; 3. Stephane Gomez (FRA) 7h 31m 20s
WOMEN – 1. Edith Van Dijk (NED) 7h 31m 57s; 2. Britta Kamrau (GER) 7h 41m 01s; 3. Angela Maurer (GER)7h 45m 42s
The next marathon in the 2003 World Cup will take place in Dubai (UAE) on March 14 (Distance: 10km).