ATLANTIC CITY, September 7. THE USA's Erica Rose and Bulgaria's Petar Stoychev emerged from the 77-degree water off Atlantic City, New Jersey, the first winners of the inaugural FINA World Cup/USA International open water swim today. The weather was absolutely beautiful – clear skies with temperatures 82-85 F (27-29C) and the bay water was ideal at 77F (25C).
The competitors did not disapoint as the men's 6.2 mile race came down to a furious sprint and three hands on the finish pad nearly simultaneously. Petar Stoychev (Bulgaria), Christof Wandratsch (Germany) and Gabrielle Chaillou (Argentina) all lunged at the thin plastic finish sign together, with Stoychev judged the winner in a time of 2 hours, 9 minutes, 59.73 seconds. It took officials almost two hours to sort out the results.
Chaillou, who believed he had touched first but was placed third protested, but head referee Ron Van Pool did not accept the protest, explaining that he, along with the three finish judges and the referee all saw the finish the same way, with Stoychev the winner. The results placed Wandratsch second 38-hundredths behind Stoychev, while Chaillou was another 23-hundredths back.
"This race was very hard for the three of us, but I was ready to win," said Stoychev,25. "In the last 1,000 meters, I was thinking of how to win the race. The race was very hard. I swam around the island here four times, but this is the first time I've been in this race. The three of us have raced many times and it's usually very close."
The race had several leaders, including American Patrick Dideum – who was in first place much of the first three miles. Dideum, of Texas A&M University, finished sixth. Hungary's Levente Nagy-Pa'l also was at the head of the pack at times until the final mile. He stayed close behind and crossed the line only about a length behind the leaders, in fourth place.
Stoychev won $3,000, Wandratsch $1,000 and Chaillou $500.
The women's race, hich reflected a resugence of strength in the American women's program, was not nearly as close as the men's as the USA swept the podium positions; 1) Erica Rose – USA 2) Margy Keefe – USA 3) Tobie Smith – USA. Rose won by more than 50 meters in 2:15:28.77. Because she is still competing for Northwestern university, Rose, 20, did not accept the winner's check of $3,000.
"The course was great," she said. "I was with the lead kayak so there was no problem. I wanted to stay with the pack, because I'm not in peak training right now and I wasn't sure how strong I'd be. I took the lead for good just before the first bridge."
In the Masters division, John Gatti, Somerville, NJ, was first for the men in 2:19.16, while Trish Lane of Lusby, Md., was the women's winner in 2:34.09.
FINA OPEN WATER MARATHON CUP
TEN KILOMETERS (6.2 miles)
ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY, USA
SEPTEMBER 7, 2002
Course: One 10-Kilometer Single Circuit Loop – Back Bay on Intracoastal Waterway
Air Temperature 82 o- 85o. Clear Skies.
Water Temperature 77 o F / 25C
Waters – Calm, Slight Tides.
PLACE NAME COUNTRY TIME
1 ROSE, Erica USA 2:15:28.77
2 KEEFE, Margy USA 2:16:53.83
3 SMITH, Tobie USA 2:17:15.06
4 CLARK, Shelley AUS 2:18:49.43
5 BERGEN, Briley USA 2:18:59.32
6 LAMMERS, Kathrin GER 2:23:46.56
7 FREDERIKSON, Heather GBR 2:25:11.42
8 RAPTIS, Teodora MKD 2:27:55.40
9 GLENN, Erin USA 2:29:52.26
10 REED, Deborah USA 2:30:52.17
11 SAWIN, Tiffany USA 2:31:14.57
12 GANNON, Amanda USA 2:32:50.80
13 KREUTZJAN, Becky USA 2:32:55.66
14 BALAZS, Eszter HUN 2:32:55.90
15 MOORE, Annie USA 2:35:25.74
16 WATTS, Emily USA 2:35:53.47
17 OPDYCKE, Rendy Lynn USA 2:38:16.80
18 MCILVAIN, Lindsay USA 2:38:24.04
19 LEDERER, Victoria USA 2:46:59.39
20 MILLER, Grace USA 2:50:03.04
21 GLASGOW, Adrianne USA 2:51:18.87
22 LEICHNER, Lindsay USA 3:17:44.01
DNF PAGE, Shiloh USA
PLACE NAME COUNTRY TIME
1 STOYCHEV, Petar BUL 2:09:59.73
2 WANDRATSCH, Christof GER 2:10:00.11
3 CHAILLOU, Gabriel ARG 2:10:00.34
4 NAGY-PA’L, Levente HUN 2:10:01.74
5 PROUD, David GBR 2:10:19.57
6 DIDEUM, Patrick USA 2:10:53.77
7 SIBBERSEN, Jan GER 2:12:09.61
8 MILLER-BRAY, Andy USA 2:12:12.35
9 QUIROGA, Facundo ARG 2:14:31.37
10 NOLAN, Brent USA 2:17:08.92
11 FREEMAN, Nathan USA 2:18:05.54
12 MCCLEOD, Steve USA 2:18:14.76
13 RISTOVSKI, Mihajlo MKD 2:20:14.81
14 PETERSEN, Craig USA 2:20:42.68
15 DARVALICS, Daniel USA 2:21:30.18
16 THOMAS, Ross USA 2:22:20.35
17 WISTHOFF, Matthew USA 2:25:21.40
18 CONEY, Shawn IND 2:59:08.50