ITU’s Best of 2017: Best Swimmer

by Chelsea White/ITU Media

Eery year and every single new triathlon season always brings its own set of memorable moments such as exciting performances, close battles on the race course, personal best finishes and emotional triumphs. The 2017 season was no different, from the World Triathlon Series, World Cups, Multisport milestones and Paratriathlon Championships, the whole entire season was one for the record books.

So, what better way to honour an amazing season such as the one of 2017 than to name the Best of the Best!

Over the rest of the month of January we will be naming the “Best of 2017” moments from the year, anything from overall athletes to top race performances to inspirational finishes because when you have a year like we just had, you have to celebrate it!

To get the ball rolling, we introduce our first category: Best Swimmer!

Best Male Swimmer: Richard Varga (SVK)

Richard Varga Diving in montreal

When it comes to the water, Varga has positioned himself as a stroke above the rest. He has achieved total domination in the swim discipline, having maintained his crown as the best swimmer in the men’s field for several years. In the 2017 season he was the swim leader in all but one WTS race he competed in. He exited first in five total WTS races: Leeds, Edmonton, Montreal, Stockholm and Rotterdam, making his overall career record a stunning 33 out of 40 WTS races competed in! So his success is at an impressive 82.5% that when Varga steps up to the start line and dives into the water, his face will be the first one that the world sees. He also posted the fastest swim pace this year, hitting 5.44 km/h during WTS Leeds. He can’t be stopped!

See also:  Lindemann keeps World Champs win streak alive

Wants some tips on how to be a great swimmer like Varga? Check out his swim training video he did with us here

Best Female Swimmer: Jessica Learmonth (GBR)

Jessica Learmonth exits waters in Leeds

During the 2017 season, it became very evident who had control over the water in the women’s WTS races. Learmonth had led out of the swim eight times in her career and four of those times occurred during the 2017 season of only the five WTS races she competed in, which considering she only has been racing in the WTS since 2015, we’d say that is pretty impressive! She was the swim leader in Yokohama, Leeds, Stockholm and Rotterdam only missing out in the first position in her race in Hamburg, where she was only seven seconds behind. She also posted the fastest swim pace of the year for the women, stroking 5.06 km/h in WTS Leeds. Her strength in the water is also what aided her in claiming her first-ever WTS medal. In Rotterdam, she was first out of the water, which helped her get into the front bike pack and gain enough of a gap to maintain her run and claim the bronze medal. She made a name for herself as the one to watch in 2017 and we have a feeling it will only get stronger next season!

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