Courtesy of LEN, lac du Causse, Brive-la-Gaillarde, France.
The most recent LEN Open Water Swimming Cup races were held at Lac du Causse in Brive, France. The races doubled as the French national open water swimming championships where a majority of the swimmers were French.
19-year-old Kate Sanderson from Toronto, Canada described the conditions, “It was a little bit of a rough start when things were a little choppy and I got stuck behind some people. [The race] lengthened out after we got past the first buoy. It helped to know where the buoys were after the first day. Once we got past the first buoy, things started to improve.”
France won the 5 km team relay in 56:10.28.
Canada’s head coach Mark Perry said the goal of the relay event was to gain experience before this summer’s FINA World Championships in South Korea in July. “Countries don’t get many chances to practise the team event so this was a vital part of our preparation for the world championships. It’s very encouraging to see that our strategy is sound and we’re delighted to get a [silver] medal.”
France’s David Aubry won the 10 km LEN Open Water Cup over Athanasios Kynigakis of Greece and Alberto Martinez of Spain. The French swimmer admitted, “It was a rather slow race, and I had problems to keep moving. I tried to swim far ahead, but my arms where so heavy. Luckily, I eventually managed to increase my speed during the last lap.”
But it was Martinez’s Spanish teammate Paola Ruiz who pulled off the upset of her career with a tight victory over 2016 Olympic 10K champion Sharon van Rouwendaal. Similarly, Angelica Andre of Portugal upset world and French champion Aurélie Muller.
Ruiz said, “I was ready for a hard race, for we had high level entries, Olympic and World champions. I like to swim in front, but during the last lap, I saw other swimmers around me, so I tried to increase my speed. Though later on I understood that I overlapped some slower girls.”
Male Top 3 Results:
1. David Aubry (France) 1:54:31.45
2. Athanasios Kynigakis (Greece) 1:54:36.47
3. Alberto Martinez (Spain) 1:54:38.09
Female Top 3 Results:
1. Paula Ruiz (Spain) 1:59:56.12
2. Sharon van Rouwendaal (Netherlands) 1:59:57.24
3. Angelica Andre (Portugal) 2:00:34.15
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