It is not every day – or many days really – that open water swimmers can meet high-ranking politicians.

But Martina Grimaldi who won this weekend’s 30 km Ohrid Lake Swimming Marathon by only a few tenths of a second over Russia’s Olga Kozydub was able to meet with Dr. Gjorge Ivanov, the President of the Republic of Macedonia, the head of state of the Republic of Macedonia, at the awards ceremony.

The security was tight at the awards ceremony, but the athletes were as personable and relaxed as ever. Their bright smiles filled the room despite being as tired and hungry as can be expected after a hard-fought 30 km competition.

Many of the professional athletes are on their way to Italy to compete in the season-ending Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli while a few others are heading to Island Hvar in Croatia to compete in this week’s Faros Maratón.

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