The Gran Canaria Diego Lopez was proclaimed world champion of the icy kilometer in the category 35-39, in the icy waters World of Murmansk, Russia. The island swimmer achieved the record with a time of 14:23 in a zero-degree pool within the Arctic Circle. In addition he finished eleventh in the general classification, behind Olympic swimmers such as Petar Stoichev or Christof Wandratsch.
This international event brought together a total of 400 swimmers from 32 countries. Two Spaniards had managed to qualify for the meeting, the aforementioned Diego López and Mario Fernández from Gijón, who finished sixth in their category and fourteenth overall with a time of 14:42.
"I'm very happy with the result, obviously," said the Gran Canaria. "There were very good swimmers from countries accustomed to the cold, to stay ahead of many has been a surprise," he admits. The island swimmer pointed out that he went to the World Cup "with an open mind and the idea of playing a good role but neither I nor Mario really knew what brands we could do".
The competition took place in a pool excavated on a frozen lake in the Russian city of Murmansk. "The water was at zero degrees and the ambient temperature was one degree," he said. The first day of competition, he swam the 500 free: "I had a good street, but there were very good swimmers, I finished seventh in the general and third in my category".
Diego López believes he could improve the brand. "I was left with the feeling that I could have done better, I was somewhat tired by the jetlag", reveals.
The Gran Canaria, who resides in New York (USA), prepared mentally before the queen test, the icy kilometer. "I rested well after the first test and focused on the important one," he says. He was surprised by the media coverage of the appointment. "It was a world test, but there were many international media covering the event," he says.
"In the thousand meters I felt very comfortable, I finished seventh in my series with a time of 14:23, which gave me the eleventh overall position," he explains. Diego López achieved the gold in his age category: "I am very happy with the result, since in the overall I was overtaken by few swimmers, most of them Olympic and with a lot of experience in competitions". With the mark obtained in Murmansk, the island swimmer holds the record of Spain and the USA in the icy kilometer.