By Mark Etheridge
Defending champion Chad Ho has ended his international opening season with a third place in the seventh and final event of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup in Hong Kong.
The South African Olympian won the 2010 series and built on his fourth place finish at the penultimate leg of the series, in Shantou, China on September 25.
Winner in Hong Kong was German open water legend Thomas Lurz but it was a tight finish. Lurz clocked 1hr 58min 16.70 second for the 10 kilometers, fellow German Christian Reichert was runner-up in 1:58.16.90 and Ho less than a second back in 1:58:17.40.
“Well Hong Kong was the final leg of the open water season so there were a lot more top class swimmers than usual, which made the swim a bit harder but I prefer it that way, as it gives me a true reflection on where I am in my training,” Ho told Road to London 2012 this week. This year I didn’t race as much as last year so I’m a bit rusty as I prefer racing a lot.
“But still, for the amount of swims that I did I was very pleased with the results, but last year is still my best year in terms of results. Now that the open water season is over I’ll start racing in the pool,’ said the KwaZulu-Natal swimmer.
“My next main pool race is in December ÔÇô it’s KwaZulu-Natal championships. ”
Lurz has now amassed an amazing 17 victories in the World Cup series. His victory also sees him crowned as overall winner of the World Cup Series with 114 points, dethroning Ho who won last year’s series.
Hong Kong’s seventh and final leg of the series saw a total of 60 athletes taking to the water, 40 men and 20 women. American Emily Brunemann won the women’s race in 2:10:59.95 but Germany’s Angela Maurer is the overall women’s winner.