Beijing-The conditions couldn't be any more different than they were for yesterday's women race. With the rain coming down, and the skies overcast, it made for tougher conditions for the men's inaugural 10KM Open Water event.
Vladimir Dyatchin (RUS) was the race favourite after he won 2 straight World Champ titles in this event. He also won 4 of last year's World Cup races. Pegged to battle it out with him was Thomas Lurz (GER) who won at the 2004 and 2006 World Champs. But it never materialized.
In the end it was a 3 man break-away pack of Maarteen van der Weijden (NED), pool swimmer David Davies (GBR) and Lurz. The Dutchman has experience over multiple open water distances. He was 4th in this event at Worlds, won the 25KM and was 3rd in the 5KM.
Davies is the Olympic bronze medallist in the 1500 from 2004, and finished 6th in this year's fast race. This year he raced in his first open water World Champs finishing second. This time it was a repeat.
With Davies leading, Lurz came up on his right side, swimming over the top of him, while van der Weijden steered wide to the right and had clear water on the sprint to the finish. Touching in 1:51.51.6, van der Weijden's finish was amazing. Davies held on with the might of a stalactite to win his second Olympic medal, this time silver in 1:51.53.1 with Lurz in for bronze in 1:51.53.6.
Dyatchin was 22 seconds behind and finished in 11th spot just ahead of Aussie surf-ironman champ Ky Hurst (AUS) who was 10th. Hurst is a former training partner to Grant Hackett, who was here to cheer him on.
Britain finished with 3 medals in the 10KM: 2 silvers and bronze, after the British duo of Keri-Anne Payne and Cassandra Patten earned their hardware yesterday.