- sourced from Swimming Canada
Hau-Li Fan (UBCD) was the top Canadian and within striking distance of a podium finish at the second stop on the 2018 FINA World Series marathon swimming event in the Seychelles Islands on May 20.
The race was won by world champion Simone Ruffini of Italy 1:49:41.9, with Jack Burnell of Britain was second in 1:49:44.0, and Rob Frederik Muffels of Germany third in 1:49:46.3.
Fan finished in 14th in a tightly-contested finish, hitting the touchpad in 1:49:51.6, just ten seconds behind the winner and five seconds out of a podium finish.
It was a best-ever international result for Fan who was 47th at the season opening World Series event this past March in Qatar.
‘’Hau-Li really corrected his mistakes from Doha to put himself in a strong position at the finish,’’ said Swimming Canada Distance and Open Water Coach Mark Perry. ‘’It’s his best result at this level which is a truly world class field and he continues to improve." With more experience, he'll learn how to better position himself at the finish to move up the rankings even higher.
In the women’s 10 kilometre, Ariana Bridi of Italy took the gold in 1:58:32.30, Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil was second in 1:58:32.60 and Martina de Memme of Italy third in 1:58:33.40.
Three-time Olympian Stephanie Horner of Beaconsfield, QC, was 19th in 2:00:02.70.
‘’Steph learns from every race and not only is her fitness improving but also her tactical awareness,’’ said Perry. ‘’She held a strong position right up until the final 800m and knows this is what she needs to improve and be ready for the summer.’’
Seychelles is the second stop of the Open Water Word Series, which features eight events throughout the year taking place in various countries all over the world. The swimmers are using this event to gain more open water experience and continue to improve their race skills in hopes of representing Canada at the Pan Pacific Championships in August.
‘’A good strong team performance from this developing group of very professional swimmers,’’ said Perry about Sunday’s event.