Cornelia Fowler

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Cornelia Fowler of South Africa won the first-ever 1.5 kilometer open water swimming competition at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games conducted in the Bay of Marathon in Greece.

Contents

Course

The 1.5K open water source was held in the warm waters (78°F or 26°C) of the Aegean Sea. It was a two-loop rectangular course approximately 50 meters from a straight, sandy coastline in water between 1 - 8 meters in depth.

World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Nominee

The 1.5 kilometer open water swim at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games was nominated for the 2011 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year:

Results of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games

Under beautiful conditions - blue skies, clear water, light, cooling breeze in the peaceful Aegean Sea, Fowler used her own skills honed at the Midmar Mile in her home country, took it out and held her pace to win comfortably in 25:02.64. Elisabeth Mansoor of the Netherlands was the second-fastest women in 26:09.56 with Nadja Tonnesen of Denmark just behind in 26:15.62.

What was so amazing and beautiful to see is the tears of joy and appreciation that were shed at the end of the race. These athletes were so filled with gratitude of the opportunity to showcase their talents to the world that some of them broke down at the finish. Through their welled-up eyes, they waved and smiled broadly at the appreciative crowd who openly shared their joyful emotions at the celebration of open water swimming excellence and international camaraderie.

It was certainly a day to remember. Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver who was onshore during the race was similarly touched, "Those athletes were great. What a wonderful competition. I was very impressed with them."

The final times of the athletes were as follows:

Men (regardless of divisioning):
1. Andrew Smilley (Cayman Islands) 22:00.77
2. Dong Han Kim (Korea) 23:04.78
3. Jin Yong An (Korea) 23:26.69
4. Joshua Timbs (Australia) 23:47.80
5. Eduardo Rodriguez (Guatemala) 26:25.64
6. Wesley Klumper (Netherlands) 26:31.86
7. Matthias Attard (Malta) 27:15.33
8. Mattetyahu Oren (Israel) 27:20.80
9. Ricardo Aponte (Puerto Rico) 27:38.44
10. Guy Wartikowsky (Israel) 28:05.31
11. Javier Mejia (Honduras) 28:38.30
12. Dylan Coop (Australia) 28:52.24
13. Eric Marchetti (Italy) 29:37.43
14. Heriberto Torres (Puerto Rico) 29:43.69
15. Suk Il Hwang (South Korea) 20:11.03
16. Efrain Gomez (Puerto Rico) 30:47.12
17. Alex Vaca (Ecuador) 31:27.21
18. Gregory Black (Australia) 31:28.32
19. Mr. Mitchel Lopez (Curacao) 33:40.30
20. Samuel Silver (USA) 34:01.99
21. Alexandros Panagiotou (Greece) 39:00.85
22. Georgios Papadopoulos (Greece) 38:19.65
23. Ela Zohar (Israel) 38:41.77
24. Wensley Gysbertha (Curacao) 39:14.65
25. Michalis Kokkoris (Greece) 39:48.16
26. Zisis Dimoshakis (Greece) DNF

Women (regardless of divisioning):
1. Cornelia Fowler (South Africa) 25:02.64
2. Matthijs van Doorn (Netherlands) 26:07.48
3. Elisabeth Mansoor (Netherlands) 26:15.62
4. Nadja Tonnesen (Denmark) 26:09.56
5. Wenda Schippers (Netherlands) 28:30.60
6. Adriana Newton (Puerto Rico) 30:38.48
7. Flor Mendez (El Salvador) 32:05.23
8. Aisling Beacom (Ireland) 33:09.17
9. Opal Alon (Israel) 36:09.29

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