Sharon van Rouwendaal Earns Third Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year Title

Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli/Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

2018 Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year: Sharon van Rouwendaal

Sharon van Rouwendaal was on top of the world in 2016: Olympic champion in the 10K…pride of the Netherlands (alongside fellow Dutch swimmer Ferry Weertman, who took home the men’s 10K gold medal in Rio).

Despite winning Olympic gold in the 10K in 2016, van Rouwendaal still called herself inexperienced in open water swimming after her 2017 Worlds.

She and Coach Philippe Lucas decided to enter six of FINA’s Open Water World Series meets in 2018 (similar to the World Cup competition in pool swimming). She collected a victory, a second- place finish, a fourth-place finish…and a lot of experience.

In the weeks before the 2018 European Championships in August, van Rouwendaal had bolstered her confidence from her many open water races and her newfound refreshed perspective after backing off from the training-obsessed life she had led for the previous four years.

She kicked off her European domination with a gold medal in the 5K, handily winning the race by 16 seconds (56:01.0). Then she pulled off the double gold, grabbing the “W” in the 10K (1:54:45.7), hitting the finishing pad nearly eight seconds ahead of Italian Giulia Gabbrielleschi. On Day 3 of four, van Rouwendaal teamed up with three other Dutch swimmers to win the 5K relay event by 6-tenths of a second. Three gold medals for van Rouwendaal in as many days.

Despite accomplishing most everything you can in open water swimming, van Rouwendaal still has her goals set for 2019.

“I’m relaxed. I have nothing to prove,” she said. “I don’t have a Worlds open water title—so it would be nice if I could win the 10K (at next summer’s World Championships). If it comes in the 5K or 25K, that’s good, too.

To learn more about van Rouwendaal and her many accomplishments, check out the November 2018 issue of Swimming World Magazine, available now!  Swimming World subscribers can download this issue in the Swimming World Vault!

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[PHOTO BY ANDREA STACCIOLI/DEEPBLUEMEDIA/INSIDEFOTO]

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FEATURES

016 2018 OPEN WATER SWIMMERS OF THE YEAR
by Annie Grevers and David Rieder
Sharon van Rouwendaal, 25, of the Netherlands earned her third Swimming World Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year award (2014, 2016, 2018), while Hungary’s Kristof Rasovszky, 21, won his first Male SOY title only a year after making his open water swimming debut at last year’s World Championships.

020 THE SWIM
by Steven Munatones
Ben Lecomte is attempting to cross the Pacific Ocean from Japan to California, which would be the longest swim in history. However, the long-term value of The Swim will be the information and science that will be uncovered.

022 THE DUTCH CLOSER
by Steven Munatones
With a furious sprint to the finish, The Netherlands’ Ferry Weertman won this year’s RCP Tiburon Mile in San Francisco Bay. Only six seconds separated the top five finishers, including the fastest woman, the USA’s Ashley Twichell.

024 SWIMMING TO HELP FIGHT CANCER
by Joseph Salvatore Prezioso
This past summer’s Boston Harbor Open Water Swim was one of several swimming-related events sponsored by Swim Across America to raise money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment. Since its founding in June 1987, SAA has raised more than $75 million that has been donated to hospitals throughout the United States.

026 TWICE THE MAN
by David Rieder
Not many swimmers are able to do what Jordan Wilimovsky does—and that’s swim both the 1500 meter freestyle in the pool and the 10K Marathon race in open water…and be successful at both. In fact, in 2016 he became the first American ever to qualify in both pool and open water events at the same Olympics.

COACHING

010 LESSONS WITH THE LEGENDS: RAY BUSSARD
by Michael J. Stott

014 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON BIOMECHANICS AND MEDICINE IN SWIMMING
by Rod Havriluk
The XIIIth International Symposium on Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming (BMS) was held in Japan, Sept. 17-21, at the University of Tsukuba. There were presentations by delegates from 23 countries on a wide range of topics—from learning skills for drowning prevention to technique and training strategies for optimizing performance.

034 DO MULTI-SPORT ATHLETES MAKE BETTER SWIMMERS?
by Michael J. Stott
While there is no scientific certainty surrounding this question, there is considerable empirical evidence to support it.

037 SPECIAL SETS: JEFFCO 400 IM SETS
by Michael J. Stott

042 Q&A WITH COACH SCOTT TEETERS
by Michael J. Stott

043 HOW THEY TRAIN AARON BUCHANAN AND IRAN ALMEIDA
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

041 DRYSIDE TRAINING: STROKE AND DISTANCE STRENGTH SERIES— MID-DISTANCE FREESTYLE
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

038 GOLDMINDS: ANYONE CAN LEAD!
by Wayne Goldsmith
All it really takes to be a great leader on your team is a willingness and a desire to help your teammates be all they can be.

045 UP & COMERS: GRACE MONAHAN
by Taylor Brien

COLUMNS & SPECIAL SECTIONS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT
013 BEYOND THE YARDS
019 THE OFFICIAL WORD
029 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
046 GUTTER TALK
048 PARTING SHOT

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Author: Taylor Brien

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Taylor Brien is the Assistant Operations Manager and a staff writer at Swimming World. A native of Bettendorf, IA and a 2015 graduate of Illinois College, she has covered a variety of events since joining the SW team in 2015, including the NCAA Championships, World Championships, Olympic Trials, and 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

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