15th Paraná-Hernandarias Marathon Swim 2009

Argentine’s Beijing Olympiian Damián Blaum won the 15th Paraná-Hernandarias, the world’s longest marathon swim. An exciting final sprint decided the second and third places between friends Pilar Geijo and Gabriel Villagoiz.

12 competitors started, 9 of whom arrived at the shores of the capital city of Entre Rios after almost 10 hours and a half of competition in the worst weather conditions.

Blaumar started the competition with a solid style which continued through the 88km race. German Alexander Studzinski fought for an early lead with Luciano Rubio and Guillermo Bértola. There were rumors of a possible suspension due to a weather alert affecting the area.

Studzinski retired with problems in his right shoulder, giving a major break to the Argentine swimmer, who was left with a lead of more than 100m.

6h 30m into the race, Blaum sprinted to give a difference of over 1000m. Bértola, Sales Rubio and Villagoiz chased the leader, with Pilar Geijo and Esther Núñez closing in dangerously.

With less than one hour to the finish Sales Rubio overtook Cordoban Bértola for second. However, the biggest surprise was a titanic effort by Pilar Geijo which saw him pass rivals at amazing speed including Sales Rubio and ultimately second place on the podium.

The last swimmer arrived almost 12 hours after the start.

The result 1- Damián Blaum; 2- Pilar Geijo; 3- Gabriel Villagoiz; 4- Guillermo Bértola; 5- Luciano Sales Rubio; 6- Esther Núñez (Spain); 7- Laura Volpi (Italy); 8- Emanuel Corsiglia; 9- Noelia Petti.

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Blaum told the media covering the event after just finishing his swim that he felt “tired but very happy”.

Pilar Geijo stressed he was very tired. “I just wanted to get there, I knew I could not swim more than 10 hours. I love the rain, but there were many waves.”

Spaniard David Meca Medina won in 2000 and 2001, Bulgarian Petar Stoycheva in 2005 in 9h 11m 52s whilst France’s Stephane Gomez triumphed in 2006 in 9h 32m 39s and Damián Blaum in 2007 in 8h 50m 25s.

FINA Marathon Grand Prix Standings after 3 events

1 BLAUM, Damián ARG 28
2 STUDZINKY, Alexander GER 26
3 STOYCHEV, Petar BUL 24
4 VALENTI, Rodolfo ITA 21
5 VILLAGOIZ, Gabriel ARG 20
6 DMITRIEV, Michael ISR 15
7 VITEK, Rostislav CZE 15
8 VOLPINI, Andrea ITA 15
9 KATZIR, Daniel ISR 9
10 BERTOLA, Guillermo ARG 8
11 KERIN, Rok SLO 6
13 BONDANINI, Andrea ITA 4
14 SMOLKA, Libor CZE 3
15 ALBERICO, Mattia ITA 2
16 BASTIANI, Leonardo ARG 2
17 CARRIZO, Agustin ARG 2
18 FONTANESI, Gianni ITA 2
19 NAIDICH, Martin ARG 2
20 RESMAN, Shahar ISR 2
21 SALES RUBIO, Luciano ARG 2
22 STOCHINO, Edoardo ITA 2
23 WANDRATSCH, Christof GER 0
24 CHIRINO, Ramiro ARG 0
26 DEMITRIEV, Michael ISR 0
27 NEGRI, Pablo ARG 0
28 ROMERO, Cristobal ARG 0

1 KAMRAU, Britta GER 41
2 NUÑEZ, Esther ESP 25
3 UVAROVA, Anna RUS 22
4 FREDIANI, Camilla ITA 17
5 BIAGIOLI, Cecilia ARG 16
6 HEISTER, Linsy NED 15
7 GEIJO, Pilar ARG 12
8 MENDOZA, Marianela ARG 11
9 BOGARIN, Antonella ARG 8
10 PETTI, Noelia ARG 7
11 GARCIA, Rita Vanesa ARG 4
12 KRIENKE, Christina GER 0
13 DARRUSPE, Tamara ARG 0
14 VOLPI, Laura ITA 0