FOUR local swimmers have became World Half Oceanman Champions 2016. Rodrigo Solis Ibañez (Club Tenis Elche) and Zoe Connolly, mum Vicki Connolly and Beryl Altabas (all from Club Natacion Elche) achieved podium positions for their categories in the 5.5km Half Oceanman World Championship.
For the second year running Benidorm hosted the finals of the Oceanman World swimming circuit for both amateur and world experts in open water swimming. After four previous competitions, across two continents, Europe and America, the finals started on Mal Pas beach in Benidorm.
Three different race distances challenged over 500 swimmers of all ages, with distances of 9.3km, 5.5km and 1.5km being split into world qualifying swimmers and non-qualifying swimmers.
In order to be eligible for the prestigious World 9.3km and 5.5km races swimmers had been required to qualify in a previous race from the years circuit.
Each of the four local swimmers had previously qualified for the competition in their swims around Tabarca Island (5kms) in September this year.
Coming in first of all the male swimmers, Rodrigo Solis Ibanez also gained first position in the male junior 16-19 category with an outstanding time of 1:14:30. Next was Zoe Connolly placed first in the female junior 16-19 category with a time of 1:34:08. Zoe was the youngest competitor of the whole competition.
Mum, Vicki Connolly followed behind Zoe coming second in her 50-59 female category with a time of 1:58:48. The final local champion and oldest swimmer in the whole competition, Beryl Altabas came first in the female 60-69 category with a time of 2:28:25.
Each of them won entry into two or three of next year’s races and €550 in cash prizes between them. Congratulations to all.