Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

With one race to go on the 2014 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix, Joanes Hedel hung on to a 1-point lead over Tomi Stefanovski, a 6-point lead over Xavier Desharnais, and a 10-point lead over Evgenji Pop Acev for the season’s title.

Going into the final race, the title was up for grabs.

But the 34-year-old Frenchman closed out a close third-place finish at the 36 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli as Stefanovski finished 10th and Desharnais finished 8th.

The strong finish vaulted Hedel to the top ranking on the 2014 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix professional marathon swimming circuit for the first time in his career.

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