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Lurz At The Open Water Double

Jul 22, 2009  - Craig Lord

Germany's Thomas Lurz added the 10km world crown to his 5km victory at Ostia today. He pulled away in the closing stages to finish in 1 hour 52 minutes and 6.9 seconds to claim his eighth career world title. It was his third 10km victory, following triumphs in 2004 and 2006.

"I'm very proud to be double world champion," Lurz, the Olympic bronze marathon medallist  told reporters. "It was a great joy to win the first gold, but the second is a real achievement. Obviously, it couldn't have finished better."

Andrew Gemmell of the United States was second and teammate Fran Crippen third, although his bronze medal is in doubt because he did not enter the final straight through the gate. Officials said a decision on whether Crippen would be disqualified and the final podium place awarded to fourth-placed Valerio Cleri of Italy would be announced later. The USA launched an appeal.

FINA issued the following statement: 

Following an appeal from USA Swimming after the men’s 10km race of the Open Water Swimming competition at the 13th FINA World Championships in Ostia (ITA) on July 22, 2009, the FINA Jury of Appeal (the FINA Bureau) will meet on Thursday (July 23) after the conclusion of the FINA Technical Swimming Congress. The decision of the FINA Jury of Appeal will be communicated as soon as possible following the meeting. 

Meantime, Italy's Simone Ercoli was taken on a stretcher to an ambulance at the end of the race, apparently suffering from exhaustion.