Martin Richard

VIEDMA, Argentina (February 4, 2012) – Richard Weinberger of Victoria assured himself a spot at the Olympic qualifying event later this spring winning the silver medal in the men’s 10 kilometre event at a marathon swimming World Cup competition on Saturday.

It is the second week in a row the 21-year-old Weinberger steps on the podium in World Cup racing. Last week in Santos, Brazil he was third.

As was the case in Santos, world champion Spiros Gianniotis of Greece took the gold in one hour and 55 minutes and 28 seconds. Weinberger was just a second behind in 1:55:29 and Yevgeny Dratsev of Russia was third in 1:55:35.

”It was a solid performance for Richard,” said Ron Jacks, Weinberger’s coach. ”It was a tough race as the swimmers went against the current. Richard continued to solidify his position among the best open water swimmers in the world.”

Xavier Desharnais of Sherbrooke, Que., was 15th, Aimeson King of Victoria 17th and Philippe Guertin of Montreal 24th.

In the women’s 10 kilometre, Eva Fabian led the U.S., to a 1-2 finish in 2:02:08, Hazel Anderson was second in 2:02:14 and Nadine Reichert of Germany was third in 2:04:21.

Zsofi Balazs of Toronto took 10th spot and also grabbed a spot for the Olympic qualifier set for this June in Portugal. Nadine Williams of Edmonton was 16th, Tyra Rooney of Calgary 20th and Caitlin Nolan of LaSalle, Que., 22nd.

Swimming Canada, the governing body for competitive swimming in Canada, will be selecting a team of 4 athletes (2 male, 2 female), to race under the maple leaf banner at the Olympic Marathon Qualifier.

The second qualifier will be the next top-placing swimmer from either FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cups in Brazil, Argentina or Mexico on April 21st.