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Meca & Van Dyk Win 10k World Titles In Honolulu

Nov 2, 2000

Courtesy US Swimming
HONOLULU - Spain's David Meca and the Netherlands' Edith van Dyk won gold in the FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships men's and women's 10K competitions today in Honolulu. Meca was also the silver medalist in the men's 5K on Tuesday and will compete in the 25K on Saturday. The U.S. won the bronze medal in the 10K team competition, behind Germany and Russia.

The men's race was tightly contested until the very end with the top 13 swimmers all finishing within 35 seconds of each other. Meca came through the channel first, winning in one hour, 57 minutes and 10.50 seconds. Italy's Samuele Pampana touched second, but was later disqualified for not swimming within the course en route to the final channel portion of the race. That gave Bulgaria's Petar Stoychev the silver at 1:57:14.44, while Russia's Evgueni Bezroutchenko took bronze in 1:57:15.02. Bezroutchenko won the 5K on Tuesday. Americans Ben Hanley (Santa Cruz, Calif.) and Matt Martin (Mission Viejo, Calif.) were sixth (1:57:16.62) and 11th (1:57:30.77), respectively.

"It was the first 10K race for both me and Matt," Hanley said. "We're both pool swimmers and we get speed from that training, but we need the open water experience to know how to handle the physical stuff, like the elbows in your face and the pushing. When you're in a big pack like that at the end, it's hard to know the line to take. We were up against guys with a lot more experience who know how to use that. This was an unbelievable field. These guys are the cream of the crop. It was a good performance considering we're completely new to the 10K. With more experience, I think both Matt and I can be great open water swimmers. We train at faster intervals than most of those guys out there today. We just have to learn how to handle the open water."

"It was a good learning experience," Martin said. "Pretty much everything I've done has been in the pool. Every time you swim an open water swim, you get a little better and swim it differently because you've learned more. Since this was my first time swimming the 10K, I went off instinct. If I swam it over again, I think I'd do it differently. In the first loop, I was right up there with the top three. It would have been better to stay with the pack early and then pick it up more toward the end. It was feeling easy, but the guys behind us had it even easier. That's where experience will help."

Edith van Dyk won the women's race in 2:06:44.44, but there were also some disqualifications for the same misdirection that knocked Pampana out of the men's race. Unfortunately, Megan Ryther (San Antonio, Texas) got caught up in the group that went the wrong way around a buoy near the end of the race. U.S. teammate Dawn Heckman (Latrobe, Pa.) also followed the group, but after hearing the shouting from the officials' boat, she, along with a few others, turned around and went back to the correct side of the buoy. She finished seventh in the race at 2:08:52.42.

"I knew the leader of the pack was going the wrong way, but I was stupid and followed anyway," Heckman said. "I should have went with my gut instinct because I knew they were going the wrong way, but I wasn't sure what the ruling would be. I didn't know if they would disqualify anyone if we all went the wrong way, but I heard the whistling and yelling and decided to turn around. I didn't want to swim an entire 10K race and then not have it count. But this was the first time I actually had fun out there (in an open water race). Usually I'm swearing to myself. It can be brutal, but it was fun today. We've heard the 10K might be the next event added to the Olympics out of all the sports and we're pushing for that. It makes sense. Open water swimming was the start of the sport so it would be like taking it back to where it originally was."

The 25K competition will be held on Saturday. The U.S. will be represented by Mark Leonard, John Kenny, Briley Bergen and Regan Scheiber.

10K RESULTS - NOV. 2, 2000
1, David Meca, ESP, 1:57:10.50
2. Petar Stoychev, BUL, 1:57:14.44
3. Evgueni Bezroutchenko, RUS, 1:57:15.02
4. Cristof Wandratsch, GER, 1:57:15.46
5. Emmanuel Poissier, FRA, 1:57:16.08
6. Ben Hanley, USA (Santa Cruz, Calif.), 1:57:16.62
7. Vladimir Diatchen, RUS, 1:57:17.12
8. Carl Gordon, NZL, 1:57:17.24
9. Maarten van der Weijden, NED, 1:57:17.40
10. Scott Sheperd, NZL, 1:57:17.86
11. Matt Martin, USA (Mission Viejo, Calif.), 1:57:30.77
12. Andres Maurer, GER, 1:57:33.59
13. Simone Ercoli, ITA, 1:57:45.47
14. Mark Saliba, AUS, 1:58:12.84
15. Miodrag Vasic, YUG, 1:58:13.80
16. Guilherme Bier, BRA, 1:58:14.69
17. Adrian Andermatt, SUI, 2:00:55.39
18. Tim Cowan, CAN, 2:01:22.34
19. Carlos Pavo, BRA, 2:01:23.39
20. David Bilodeau, CAN, 2:01:24.02
21. Leigh Bool, AUS, 2:03:19.92
22. Gonzalo Diaz Miret, ARG, 2:13:10.22
23. Balzas Cseldnyi, HUN, 2:13:10.60
24. Marton Toszegi, HUN, 2:17:11.19
25. Mihajlo Ristorski, MKD, 2:17:33.44
26. Rafael Perez, ARG, 2:19:29.63
27. Patel Chintan, IND, 2:45:57.24
28. Bhargava Prateek, IND, 3:05:22.56.

1. Edith van Dyk, NED, 2:06:44.44
2. Melissa Pasquali, ITA, 2:07:38.85
3. Peggy Busche, GER, 2:08:14.59
4. Brooke Townsend, AUS, 2:08:16.11
5. Etta van der Weijden, NED, 2:08:47.52
6. Paula Wood, GBR, 2:08:51.85
7. Dawn Heckman, USA (Latrobe, Pa.), 2:08:52.24
8. Irena Abyssova, RUS, 2:09:01.81.
9. Trudee Hutchinson, AUS, 2:09:07.11
10. Karley Stutzel, CAN, 2:09:40.38.
11. Jana Pechanova, CZE, 2:11:14.01
12. Pilar Geijo, ARG, 2:11:15.52
13. Eszter Balazs, HUN, 2:12.28.92
14. Jennifer Coombs, CAN, 2:21:07.43
15. Biljana Cokovic, MDK, 2:44:09.92.

1. Germany (C. Wandrastch, A. Maurer, P. Busche), 6:03:03.64
2. Russia (E. Bezroutchenko, V. Diatchen, I. Abyssova), 6:03:33.95
3. USA (B. Hanley, M. Martin, D. Heckman), 6:03.:39.81
4. Australia (M. Saliba, L. Bool, B. Townsend ), 6:09:48.87
5. Netherlands (M. van der  Weijden, E. van Dyk, E. van der Weijden), 6:12:49.36
6. Canada (T. Cowan, K. Stutzel, J. Coombs), 6:32:10.15
7. Hungary (E. Balazs, B. Cseldnyi, M. Toszegi), 6:42:50.71
8. Argentina (P. Geijo, G. Diaz Miret, R. Perez), 6:43:55.37.