x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Okimoto aims for perfection

With seven gold and two silver medals from the first 10 races of the season, Poliana Okimoto is already assured of winning the 2009 Fina 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup women's crown.

DUBAI // With seven gold and two silver medals from the first 10 races of the season, Poliana Okimoto is already assured of winning the 2009 Fina 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup women's crown, but the Brazilian has vowed not to let up in the final two rounds of the series in the Emirates. Okimoto tops the table with 176 points and has an unassailable lead of 40 over fellow Brazilian Ana Marcela de Jesus going into the penultimate round of the 2009 World Cup in Dubai tomorrow afternoon.

The defending Dubai champion, 26, is determined to continue the relentless march to her maiden World Cup title when she takes to the water off Al Mamzar beach. "These two are the final races of the World Cup and I want to finish off with two more gold medals," said Okimoto, who switched to open water swimming four years ago and finished seventh in the women's 10km race at the Beijing Olympics. "I am planning to take a vacation after this, so I need a win to go away in a happy mood.

"It would be the perfect finish for me. It's not easy - you have to race in different countries and venues, under different conditions, eat different foods, stay in different hotels and fight jet lag. So I am really happy with what I have achieved." Even if she fails to win any medals in Dubai tomorrow or Sharjah on Wednesday, Okimoto will still have plenty to smile about as she will returning home with the world champion's purse of US$15,000 (Dh55,000).

Thomas Lurz is likely to take the men's title after eight victories in the 10 races. The German, winner of the 10km bronze at the Beijing Games, is sitting on 160 points, 34 ahead of Brazilian Allan do Carmo. @Email:arizvi@thenational.ae Dubai 10K Open Water World Cup, Al Mamzar Beach, 3pm