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october 25, 2010 • 03:45 PM

Fran Crippen, Swimmer Dies During 10K Open-Water Race

Fran Crippen, Swimmer Dies During 10K Open-Water Race.
Foto: AP

Fran Crippen, 26-year-old Olympic hopeful, died during a 10K open-water race. Swimmers complained that the temperature was much too high and may have played a factor in Crippen's death. Click to get more details.

Fran Crippen died just east of Dubai, in Fajuirah, during the World Cup 10K race. Crippen was reported missing by his teammate, not by lifeguards or any race staff. His body was recovered by deep-sea divers just two hours later.

The event is overseen by the international swimming federation, FINA. In order to win prize money, Crippen and other swimmers had to complete the race in it's entirety. It is believed that the event was in accordance with international rules.

'What we know initially is that he exerted himself more than he could, that's what we know,' said FINA President Julio Maglione of Uruguay, at the International Olympic Committee conference in Acapulco, Mexico. 'The medical report said it was huge overexertion, that's what they told me.'

The winner of the race did raise concerns over the temperature in the water. He claimed that the water was at about 86 degrees, which is 4 degrees hotter than the maximum limit in a pool race. Open-water races do not have a maximum limit temperature, but these issues are currently under review.

'The water was amazingly hot. For sure, it was more than [86 degrees Fahrenheit].Nobody thought such things like yesterday could happen. It shows it was really just too hot. It was not just one swimmer. There were many swimmers who had serious problems in the water,' said winner Thomas Lurz of Germany, according to AP.

Shouldn't the event staff have noticed Crippen missing? Is there anyway to make sure elite athletes are not lost like this?

Terra USA/Marilyn Dominguez