PHOENIX, Arizona, November 25. SWIMMING World begins its run of swimming awards today as Swimming World Magazine continues its award-announcement series with the 2009 Open Water Swimmers of the Year. Each of the awardwinners is featured in the December issue of Swimming World.
Germany's Thomas Lurz and Great Britain's Keri-Anne Payne earned this year's Open Water Swimmers of the Year titles.
After a two-year hiatus from the award, Thomas Lurz returned with his third victory in the category. Previously, Lurz shared the award with Chip Peterson in 2005 and won it outright in 2006. This year, Lurz won on back-to-back days at the World Championships with triumphs in the 5K and 10K. Additionally, he claimed the FINA Open Water World Cup title with some exciting wins during the circuit.
With three-time reigning open water queen Larisa Ilchenko of Russia having an off year for her lofty standards, Great Britain's Keri-Anne Payne put together a strong slate of performances to snag the women's award. Payne emerged victorious from the 10K event at the World Championships this year.
Announcements So Far:
Nov. 22. Divers of the Year: China's Guo Jingjing, Qin Kai. Story
Nov. 23. Water Polo Players of the Year. U.S. Betsey Armstrong, Serbia's Andrija Prlainovic. Story
Nov. 23. Synchronized Swimmer of the Year: Russia's Natalia Ishchenko. Story