Steady and powerful, 23-year-old Weertman led for most of the 15 km race in the turbulent, windy Caribbean Sea off the Yucatan Peninsula.
He made the moves and surges to which his competitors had to respond, finishing in 3 hours 4 minutes and 4 seconds only a few strokes ahead of Simone Ercoli who pushed him hard to the very end.
“This race was for experience, but he is preparing for the European open water,” Patrick Martens, the team trainer of Team Netherlands.
“It was really tough out there in these conditions,” said Weertman who won his first Grand Prix race. “I did a different race tactic this time. I got in the front so I could really push the pace. I did a different approach because I am usually in the pack. But in this race, I got in front way earlier and just held my position.”
His Dutch teammate Marcel Schouten finished third, reminiscent of the strong Dutch speed skaters at the recent Sochi Winter Olympics.
Strong, powerful and steady: a testament to the tough Dutch competitiveness.
FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Results:
1. Ferry Weertman (NED) 3:04:06.9
2. Simone Ercoli (ITA) 3:04:07.8
3. Marcel Schouten (NED) 3:05:14.6
4. Gyurta Gergely (HUN) 3:06:12.2
5. Vitaliy Khudyakov (KAZ) 3:09:28.6
6. Matheus Evangelista (BRA) 3:09:31.2
7. Jan Posmoury (CZE) 3:10:38.4
8. Eduardo Stochino (ITA) 3:11:05.3
9. Andrea Volpini (ITA) 3:11:06.4
10. Karel Baloun (CZE) 3:11:22.7
11. Gabriel Raul Villagoiz (ARG) 3:45.5
12. Ivan Afanevich (RUS) 3:14:31.3
13. Tomi Stefanovski (MKD) 3:18:14.1
14. Mohammed Saleh (SYR) 3:22:59.8
15. Samir Barel (BRA) 3:23:46.3
16. David Escobosa (MEX). DNF
17. Jan Kutnik (CZE) DQ
18. Damian Blaum (ARG) DNF
19. Marcos Rodrigues (BRA) DNF
20. Alejandro Hernandez (MEX) DNF
21. Mateusz Sawrymowiur (POL) DNS
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