France’s Marc Antoine Olivier and Italy’s Martina De Memme won in thrilling finishes in the opening leg of the LEN Open Water Cup at Lake Ohrid (MKD).
Men (medallists): 1. Marc Antoine Olivier (FRA) 2:10:55.6, 2. Dario Verani (ITA) 2:10:56.7, 3. Niklas Frach (GER) 2:11:00.4 Women (medallists): 1. Martina de Memme (ITA) 2:20:04.0, 2. Barbara Pozzobon (ITA) 2:20:05.9, 3. Mafalda Rosa (POR) 2:22:47.9
Marc Antoine Olivier got some consolation in the first leg of the LEN Open Water Cup two weeks after finishing sixth at the Olympic Games. The Frenchman, bronze medallist in Rio and runner-up at the 2021 Europeans this May in Budapest, came first after a shoulder-by-shoulder battle with Dario Verani. The Italian, third in the 5km at the Europeans, pushed hard but hit the panel 1.1sec behind Olivier, while Nicklas Frach of Germany came further 3.7sec adrift.
The women’s 10km race offered the same thrills: here two Italians fought for the gold and Martina de Memme came out on top, touching in 1.9sec ahead of Barbara Pozzobon. Portugal’s Mafalda Rosa was a distant third. Both races might have had more excitements but the Hungarian swimmers could not line up for the start as they didn’t meet the requirements of the LEN protocol (didn’t undergo PCR tests prior to travelling to the event, only had vaccination passports but the regulations still require the tests from every competitor).
Both winners cashed in €2,500 respectively, the runners-up got €1,500, while the bronze medallists earned €1,000.
The next leg is due in two-week time in Istanbul (TUR), on 28 August.
LEN Open Water Cup, Season 2021
• Leg 1: 14 August – Ohrid (MKD)
• Leg 2: 28 August – Istanbul (TUR)
• Leg 3: 14 September – Alghero (ITA)
• Leg 4: 19 September – Rijeka (CRO)
• Leg 5: 25 September – Barcelona (ESP)
• Leg 6: 3 October – Piombino (ITA)