Larisa Illchenko

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Larisa Illcheno, Russian open water swimmer
Larisa Illcheno, Russian open water swimmer
Larisa Dmitriyevna Ilchenko (Russian: Лариса Дмитриевна Ильченко) (born 18 November 1988 in Volgograd) is a Russian long distance swimmer. She had won eight World Championships and the 2008 Olympics at age 19.

She has dominated long distance swimming since her first World Championships Dubai 2004, where she won by over 30 seconds aged 16. The next year in Montreal, she had a much tougher time as the veterans pushed her under and held her up, but still won with a final sprint. This has been the pattern of all her subsequent victories, battling her way through the pack before sprinting clear at the end.She doubled up in Napoli 2006 to become both the 5 km and 10 km open water world champion. She has won both 5 km and 10 km events at all subsequent World Championships. The leading American magazine Swimming World named her open water swimmer of the year in 2006, 2007 and 2008. She won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the swimming 10 km, using her trademark closing kick after being behind the leaders for 9,900 meters of the 10,000-meter swim.

[edit] World Championships (Medals)

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