Courtesy of Colin Hill of FINA and Giorgio Scala of Deepbluemedia at Beau Vallon Beach on Mahé, Seychelles.

Simone Ruffini beat fellow Olympian Jack Burnell by 2.1 seconds to win today’s FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim World Series event on Mahé, Seychelles, and a large trailing pack of 14 swimmers, all within 10 seconds over the 10 km course on Beau Vallon Beach.

Once the tight race was over for the women, the men jumped in the 27°C (80.6°F) water as tropical rains finished falling from the sky in 30°F air temperatures.

FINA representative Colin Hill reported on the race from Mahé, “Shortly after the start, Hungary’s Kristof Rasovsky took to the front of the pack, normally when someone goes to the pack early, you wouldn’t expect them to feature at the end of the race. But not so with Kristof who has shown his quality time and time again, happy to put the other swimmers under pressure early in the race.

[Olympic champion] Ferry Weertman, with his distinctive slow stroke rate, looked at ease as he bid his time in the early stages [of the race].
Jack Burnell was always sitting behind the lead swimmer, seemingly waiting for his moment to pounce.

The strong German team took to the front at times with the lead switching between them and Kristof, but at lap four Kristof’s kick started and the pack stretched out again, losing more swimmers off the back of the pack. It was in lap four (of six) that Ferry started to make his way through the pack to cover a breakaway of five swimmers going into the final lap.

The Italians were also suddenly up at the front, as the pack split, Ferry Weertman taking a more direct line across the back straight with Kristof losing several places by taking another line.

As the pack got back together and bunched, Ruffini saw his chance and went around all the other swimmers to get clear water and with two turn buoys to go and 400m finish straight he gained some clear water and with once glance back 200m before the finish he outsprinted a world class field to finish clear in front.”

Ruffini said after the race, “I timed my sprint well, I held back until the last lap and went for it, I’m so happy to win in this beautiful location, it is like paradise.”

Giovanna Rousseau, Chief Executive of the National Sports Council, was appreciative of the opportunity to host the event. “For Seychelles, the FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim World Series race is the biggest competition ever hosted and we feel very proud.”

FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim World Series Seychelles 10 km Results
1. Simone Ruffini (Italy) 1:49:41.90

2. Jack Burnell (Great Britain) 1:49:44.00
3. Rob Frederik Muffels (Germany) 1:49:46.30
4. Andrea Manzi (Italy) 1:49:46.40
4. Ferry Weertman (Netherlands) 1:49:46.40
6. Matteo Furlan (Italy) 1:49:47.00
7. Mario Sanzullo (Italy) 1:49:47.10
8. Andreas Waschburger (Germany) 1:49:48.30
9. Christian Reichert (Germany) 1:49:49.00
10. Marcel Schouten (Netherlands) 1:49:50.50
11. Soren Detlef Meissner (Germany) 1:49:50.50
12. Kristof Rasovszky (Hungary) 1:49:51.10
13. Diogo Villarinho (Brazil) 1:49:51.30
14. Hau-Li Fan (Canada) 1:49:51.60
15. Pepijn Smits (Netherlands) 1:49:52.60
16. Vitaliy Khudyakov (Kazakhstan) 1:49:54.70
17. Chad Ho (South Africa) 1:49:57.80
18. Allan do Carmo (Brazil) 1:50:23.30
19. Fernando Ponte (Brazil) 1:50:39.60
20. Nicolas Masse-Savard (Canada) 1:50:47.80
21. Tobias Patrick Robinson (Great Britain) 1:53:37.10
22. Kenessary Kenenbayev (Kazakhstan) 2:09:29.80
23. Damien Payet (Seychelles) 2:11:55.40
24. Bertrand Payet (Seychelles) 2:19:15.90
DNF Ruwen Straub (Germany)
NT Abdulaziz Al-Obaidly (Qatar)

For the women’s results, see here.

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