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1997 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships

Men's and Women's Open Water 25 km


Paul Quinlan

Men's Open Water (25 km)

The winner of the men's Open Water event went to the 176 cm, 95 kg Grant Robinson, AUS, who won in convincing style.

Swimmers went in where angels would fear to tread, with a typhoon hovering not too far away. A day for the fearless, some would say. If you have the experience of a surf lifesaver, maybe you can afford to be fearless like Grant Robinson from Australia, who went into the typhoon affected sea of Fuluoka, battled the sun, warm water, and jellyfish for 4 hours 40 minutes 38 seconds to take a gold medal for Australia.

Canadian Liam Weseloh hugs womans champ Shelley Taylor-Smith of Australia
For larger 64k photo click on image. Photo © Darrin Braybrook/SPORT The Library

Eight other male Open Water enthusiasts, not to mention their handlers, also went through the full 25 km ordeal. Liam Weseloh of Canada was runner up in this endurance event in 4h 52m 38s with Nathan Stooke, USA, arriving at the finish line in 4h 57m 37s.

Women's Open Water (25 km)

The Open Water event was the toughest ever for these marathon swimmers, with a typhoon threatening in the background.

In the women's Open Water Championship, the evergreen veteran of world marathon events, Shelley Taylor-Smith, AUS, led seven other women brave enough to tackle and conquer any elements, no matter how severe. The 35-year-old showed a clean pair of heel to all the others to win in 5h 01m 12s.

Tobie Smith (5h 05m 08s) and Bambi Bowman (5h 13m 04s), both hailing from America, earned their silver and bronze medals the hard way. Only one swimmer was recorded as not completing the arduous 25-km course.

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