Hot dip boils chances in open water race

JINSHAN CITY Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:43am IST

JINSHAN CITY (Reuters) - Bulgaria's Petar Stoychev and Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil won controversial men's and women's 25-km open water races at the world swimming championships on Saturday.

The races were overshadowed somewhat by withdrawals and complaints that the water temperature, about 90 minutes from competition host city Shanghai, was too hot.

Stoychev won the marathon event in five hours, 10 minutes, 39.8 seconds, while Russia's Vladymir Dyatchin in 5:11:15.6 took silver, just pipping Csaba Gercsak of Hungary (5:11:18.1).

Six swimmers, including Germany's Thomas Lurz, who won the 5-km race and took silver in the Olympic-qualifying 10-km race, did not even start the men's race, while nine withdrew during it. A total of 35 had entered the race.

A Reuters witness said the German team had tested the water temperature at the dock, and said it had reached 32 degrees.

They said the maximum temperature allowed to compete is 31 degrees and there were complaints from other teams that officials should have stopped the race.

In the women's race, Marcela Cunha finished in 5:29:22.9, just ahead of Angela Maurer of Germany (5:29:25.0) and Alice Franco of Italy (5:29:30.8)

The men's race had originally been scheduled to start at 0800 (0000 GMT), but had its time moved twice, first to 0700 then 0600. The women's race started at 0605.

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