Bulgaria's Star Stoychev Surprised to Rank 9 in Men's 10km Swimming Marathon
Bulgaria's best swimmer Petar Stoychev finished ninth in the men's swimming marathon at the London Olympics on Friday even though he did set a personal record.
"I am not happy with the result. I was in excellent shape and very well prepared, but the speed was really fast," Stoychev told Bulgarian reporters in London.
Stoychev clocked 1:50:46.2, which is his best time in the 10 kilometer marathon so far.
"My strategy was to keep up with Germany's Thomas Lurz, but the moment the leaders charged ahead, I lost sight of him. Another problem was the fact that those who remained behind were a group of swimmers, who were meddling with each others' swimming. It is not that the leaders swam so fast, rather we, the rest in the group behind, created problems for one another," Stoychev said.
The phenomenal Bulgarian swimmer, who is one of the best marathon swimmers of all times, hinted that this may be his last major tournament.
“At the age of 36, I am far too older than most of my rivals. Now I will have to decide what to do next, this is the hardest part,” he shared.
Tunisia's Oussama Mellouli won the gold medal in the men's swimming marathon at the London Olympics on Friday to become the first swimmer to win medals in the pool and open water.
Mellouli won the 1,500 metres freestyle gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and used his superior speed to burst clear of his rivals and win the gruelling 10 kilometre race at the Serpentine in London's Hyde Park.
Germany's Thomas Lurz won the silver medal and Richard Weinberger of Canada the bronze but no one could keep up with the 28-year-old Mellouli after he charged into the lead approaching the end of the fifth of the six loops.
The action took place at the Serpentine in London's Hyde Park. The Serpentine is a 28-acre lake that traces its history in its present form back more than 250 years.
It has a maximum depth of 40 feet and competitors may encounter various birds and aquatic life as they make six loops of the lake to complete the 10-kilometer course.
Spectators can line the banks of the lake to view the action at a spot of their choosing, since no ticket purchases are necessary, making this event the only free one at the Olympics.
Unlike standard Olympic swimming races, there are no preliminaries to determine a group of finalists. There is simply a mass start of all 25 swimmers.
- » Bulgarian Paralympians Win 3 Medals in London
- » Bulgaria Grabs 3rd Paralympics Medal
- » Bulgaria Grabs First Paralympics 2012 Medal
- » Michael Phelps Might be Deprived of London 2012 Medals
- » London 2012 Organizers Auction Off Bulgaria's Olympic Flag
- » BOC Head Judges Bulgarian Olympic Performance 'Very Weak'