Who Will Be Swimming World’s 2018 Open Water Swimmers of the Year?


Every year Swimming World Magazine celebrates the sport of open water swimming by designating the November issue as the “Open Water Issue.” This year is no different as Swimming World reflects on some of open water’s top moments from the last year, looks ahead to possible future events in open water swimming, and crowns the Open Water Swimmers of the Year!


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In anticipation of the announcement of this year’s winners, here’s a look back at winner’s from previous years.

2017 Female Winner – Aurelie Muller, FRA

aurelie-muller-by alex voyer

Photo Courtesy: Alex Voyer

When she arrived at the 2017 World Championships, Aurelie Muller was seeking redemption after being disqualified following the conclusion of the open water race in Rio.

She arrived at the 2017 World Championships without butterflies in her stomach—just “with a big appetite.” Muller swam her signature race, the 10K, beautifully and didn’t leave any room for judges to question the nish. She won the race by more than three seconds.

Muller not only made the podium—she stood atop it. She listened to the French anthem play…and smiled. Her appetite was satisfied, her training was validated, and her gold medal symbolized far more than a victory in the 10K race.

2017 Male Winner – Ferry Weertman, NED

Foto Fabio Ferrari - LaPresse 27/07/2015 Kazan ( Russia ) Sport 16 Campionati del mondo FINA 2015 - Open Water - 10km Uomini. nella foto: Ferry Weertman (NED) Photo Fabio Ferrari - LaPresse 27 July 2015 Kazan ( Russian ) Sport 16th FINA World Championship 2015 - Open Water - 10km Men. in the picture: Ferry Weertman (NED)

Photo Courtesy: LaPresse/ Fabio Ferrari

Nearly one hour and 50 minutes had passed in the men’s 10K race at the 2017 World Championships. Dutchman Ferry Weertman, the defending Olympic gold medalist in the event, found himself in a familiar situation. Three men were leading the pack in Lake Balaton (Hungary). It would be a fierce battle for gold.

In 2017, Weertman became the first Dutchman to win the 10K at World Championships and the first man to win the event at both the Olympics and the World Championships. But he’s not obsessing over historic stats like these while he’s racing. His consistently excellent performances are worth more than medals and milestones.

2019Ana Marcela Cunha, BRAFlorian Wellbrock, GER
2018Sharon van Rouwendaal, NEDKristof Rasovszky, HUN
2017Aurelie Muller, FRAFerry Weertman, NED
2016Sharon van Rouwendaal, NEDFerry Weertman, NED
2015Aurelie Muller, FRAJordan Wilimovsky, USA
2014Sharon van Rouwendaal, NEDAndrew Gemmell, USA
2013Poliana Okimoto, BRAThomas Lurz, GER
2012Eva Ristov, HUNOus Mellouli, TUN
2011Keri-Anne Payne, GBRThomas Lurz, GER/Spyros Gianniotis, GRE
2010Martina Grimaldi, ITAValerio Cleri, ITA
2009Keri-Anne Payne, GBRThomas Lurz, GER
2008Larisa Ilchenko, RUSMaarten van der Weijden, NED
2007Larisa Ilchenko, RUSVladimir Dyatchin, RUS
2006Larisa Ilchenko, RUSThomas Lurz, GER
2005Edith van Dijk, NEDThomas Lurz, GER/Chip Peterson, USA