Canadians 16th at world open water swimming championships

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SEVILLE, Spain – Maarten Van Der Weijden of the Netherlands and Ksenia Popova of Russia were the victors in Thursday’s 25 kilometre races which concluded the world open water swimming championships on Thursday.

In the men’s race, Van Der Weijden, the five kilometre bronze medalist on Tuesday, finished in five hours and 04:1.1 to hold off Mark Warkentin of the United States by 0.5 seconds.The bronze medal went to Russia’s Yuriy Koudinov, 1.3 seconds behind Van Der Weijden.

Simon Tobin of Ste-Foy, Que., placed 16th.

“I swam below my expectations,” said Tobin, 23. “My first three laps (five kilometres each) were very strong but at the 15 kilometre mark I started to lose energy. I couldn’t follow the pack anymore.”

Popova clocked 5:27:48.2 to increase Russia’s domination of the championships, which were held on the River Guadalquivir. Russia won four of the six gold medals.

Popova, last year’s bronze medallist, beat runner-up Edith van Dijk of the Netherlands by 2.1 seconds. The bronze was won by another Russian, Natalya Pankina, who trailed her compatriot by 5.7 seconds.

Patricia Perreault of Quebec City was 16th.

Canada’s best results at the FINA Open Water Worlds was Jarrod Ballem of Calgary posting the best finish, a 10th in the five kilometre. The main race was the men’s and women’s 10 kilometre which was an Olympic qualifier. No Canadians qualified but there’ll be a second qualifying event at the end of the month in Beijing.

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