Για μόλις 0,8 δευτερόλεπτα ο κολυμβητής Σπύρος Γιαννιώτης του Ολυμπιακού Πειραιώς – που κάνει προπόνηση με τον Νίκο Γέμελο- δεν κατάφερε να κάνει το νταμπλ και να κερδίσει το χρυσό μετάλλιο και στα 5 χιλιόμετρα του open water στο Παγκόσμιο Πρωτάθλημα Υγρού στίβου που γίνεται στην Σανγκάη. Η κούρσα συγκλονιστική και κρίθηκε στις πολύ λεπτομέρειες, αν ακι ο Ελληνας αθλητής θα μπορούσε να την είχε κερδίσει.
Ο κολυμβητής του Ολυμπιακού Πειραιώς δήλωσε σχετικά : “Ημουν στην κορυφή της κούρσας 600 μέτρα πριν το τέλος της κούρσας και μπορούσα να δω τον Γεμανό αθλητή. Για εμένα ήξερα ότι ήταν πολύ καλό να είμαι μπροστά του. Ενας αθλητής θέλει πάντοτε να δώσει ότι καλύτερο έχει και ο Thomas ήξερα ότι θα ήταν στην καλύτερή του φόρμα. Υπήρχε “κόλαση” στο μυαλό μου, ήμουν κουρασμένος και έκανε πολύ ζέστη. Εμεινα στην δεύτερη θέση αλλά επανέκτησα το χαμένο έδαφος και ετοιμάστηκα για το σπριντ. Κέρδισε και ήταν πολύ έξυπνος …αλλά εξάλλου είναι ο καλύτερος κολυμβητής Open water στην ιστορία της κολύμβησης. Εχασα από το καλύτερο κολυμβητή και είμαι πολύ χαρούμενος να είμαι δεύτερος μετά τον Thomas Lurz”.
Fina Press Release in English
Thomas Lurz of German is without a doubt the century’s best open water swimmer at the 5km distance, capturing his 10th FINA gold medal in a time of 56:16.6. Lurz won his first FINA World Championship in 2005 and he has won the 5km title each of the last seven years.
The German juggernaut defeated 10km champion Spyridon Gianniotis of Greece by 0.8 seconds. Evgeny Drattsev of Russia touched the pad 1.9 seconds behind the German champion.
Lurz placed bronze in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Marathon. He now has 10 career world titles, the seven consecutive 5km titles, and three in the 10km. Lurz also has three silver medals in 10km competition and three bronze medals across 5km and 10K events for a total of 16 world championship medals. “It was my strategy to lead at the end because that is the way to arrive at the touch pad first” said Lurz. “My next goal is a gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics in the Marathon 10km event.”
Asked if there was any doubt who would win today’s race the German world champion replied “there is always some doubt. Spyros is in good shape and he is always very good in the 5km races. I don’t think about winning 5, or 6, or 7 races as this puts pressure on me that is unnecessary. I try to do my best and I don’t think about the number of titles that I have won” said Lurz.
In Melbourne, at the 2007 FINA World Championships, the same three athletes sprinted towards the finish line. It was Drattsev who finished 1.1 seconds behind Lurz for the silver medal. The Russian was also the runner up to Lurz last summer in Roberval, 3.5 seconds behind the champion in the same distance.
Today’s silver medallist from Greece, Gianniotis bested Lurz in the 10km by 2.5 seconds just two days ago. Gianniotis nearly defeated the perennial world champion in today’s 5km event, but was out sprinted by the German at the finish and earned the silver in a time of 56:17.4. The Hellenic swimmer was also the silver medallist in the 2009 World Championships in Rome and the bronze medallist in 2007.
The Greek said: “I was in the lead at the 600m to go mark and I could see Thomas. For me, I knew it was good to be ahead of him. An athlete always wants to give his very best and I knew that Thomas would also be at his best. It was hell on my mind and I was tired and I was hot. I dropped back to second position but then I caught up again and I was ready for the sprint. He won and he was very, very clever to win but he is the best open water swimmer in history. I lost to the best open water swimmer and I am very happy to be second to Thomas Lurz.”
Russia’s Evgeny Drattsev snatched bronze with a 56:18.5 in the “sprint” open water distance. It was his sixth world medal in open water. Previously, he took silver behind Lurz in the 5km in 2007 and 2010, while taking silver in the 10km in 2010. He also took bronze in the 10km in 2006 and 2007. The Russian told reporters that “I remember the three of us in the race in Melbourne. We were in the same situation then as we were today, but I knew that I would have my speed. It was important to be in a good position with those two and I was happy to be in the sprint with them. Open Water Swimming is a really tough sport that requires a lot of tactics and experience. Our sport is a contact sport and at 500m to go I received a yellow card and I don’t know why.”
Sean Ryan of the USA led most of the first half of the race posting a time of 28:20 at the midpoint of the race. Ryan would fall off the pace, finishing in 11th place and 13.5 seconds behind the German gold medallist.