Swimming Western Australia
Published: Oct 9, 2012 04:20:25 PM Updated: Oct 10, 2012 03:14:42 PM
Australian Rhys Mainstone has earlier today won the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup in Hong Kong in a time of 1hr 57minutes and 30 seconds.
The meet was Mainstone’s first major international race win in a strong field that included London Olympic Silver medallist and Olympic fourth placed competitor in Thomas Lurz (2nd) and Spyridon Gianniotis (3rd) respectively.
“I arrived in Hong Kong from Perth on Friday and pulled up pretty well from the flight,” Mainstone said post-race.
“The main thing is that I was just looking forward to racing. This morning I felt fantastic and once I dived in the water I felt great the whole way”.
Being content to sit with the leading group of ten swimmers until the 6km mark, Mainstone made a decisive break on his competitors just before the final lap.
“With 4km to go at the feeding station, I had a really quick feed and was able to put a 10 to 15 metre break on the field.”
With the gap growing to 35 metres shortly afterwards, the chase pack, led by Lurz and Gianniotis, begun to close in on Mainstone in the final stages of the race, the Mel Tantrum coached athlete held strong to win by 15 metres.
“I did back myself from 4km to go, but there was a moment where I questioned it as I was being caught. I just focused on what I’ve been doing in the training pool and am very happy with the end result.
“Hopefully now there is more to come.”
Despite missing out on selection for the London Olympics, Mainstone’s performance in Hong Kong confirmed his world class status and has publicly stated that the disappointment of London will be extra motivation moving forward.
“I have (the Olympic race) recorded and I replay it a lot of the time.
“It’s going to drive me further over the next four years going into the Rio Olympics.”
A gutsy comeback from Mainstone's West Australian teammate, Simon Huitenga, saw the Perth City swimmer hang onto the breakaway pack of ten to finish strongly in ninth position.
The international debutant Huitenga carefully maintained his pace throughout the gruelling 10km event and charged into ninth place, a mere 25 metres behind the clock stopping Mainstone. In what is only Huitenga's sixth attempt at a 10km event, he has stamped his mark on the international open water swimming scene as one to watch in the future.
Mainstone and Huitenga will now head to China with the last leg of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup to be swum in Shantou on 13 October.