Domenico Acerenza and Angela Martinez Guillen Claim Respective Victories At European Aquatics Open Water Swimming Cup Leg 1 Piombino 2024

Credit to: European Aquatics

Domenico Acerenza and Angela Martinez Guillen won the men’s and women’s titles respectively at the European Aquatics Open Water Swimming Cup Leg 1 Piombino 2024.

Acerenza came through in the final 100m to overhaul French pair Sacha Velly and Marc-Antoine Olivier and take the touch in a sprint finish in 1hr 46 mins 54.16secs.

Velly was second in 1:46:54.67 ahead of teammate Olivier who clocked 1:46:54.86.

Martinez Guillen executed a superb final lap, picking off her rivals and going past leading duo Ginevra Taddeuci and Maria De Valdes Alvarez before going to the head of the field to claim victory in 1:56:37.81.

Italian Taddeuci touched the board in 1:56.39.46 with Caroline Jouisse claiming a third podium spot of the day for France in 1:56:40.33 and Olympic champion Ana Marcela Cunha next home in 1:56:42.36.

Credit to: European Aquatics

Acerenza had been in the top three throughout the race in the beautiful waters off the western Italy coast.

It was Velly though who ramped up the pace on the fifth and penultimate lap, making his move and even briefly did a little backstroke to check out what was happening around him.

The 19-year-old led going into the final lap and pushed the tempo to move more than a body-length ahead of Olivier and Acerenza.

His teammate pulled alongside as the pair went stroke for stroke only for Acerenza to make his move on the outside coming into the final shoot, ultimately getting his hand to the board first.

Acerenza, double gold medallist at Roma 2022, said: “It was a very tough race, a very different race for me.

“It’s always a pleasure, this place is very beautiful.

“I am very happy to do a race today here.”

Acerenza is one of two Italian men, along with Gregorio Paltrinieri who didn’t compete in Piombino, who will take to the River Seine at Paris 2024.

He said: “This is the Olympic year, this is good training for the race.

“I try to push every day so it is okay.”

Italian duo Vincenzo Caso (1:47:07.15) and Andrea Filadelli (1:47:11.49) were fourth and fifth respectively.

Credit to: European Aquatics

The lead changed hands throughout in the women’s race with Airi Ebina of Japan, Oceane Cassignol, Barbara Pozzobon and Taddeuci all heading the field at some point.

Taddeuci was in the lead going into the final lap and looked powerful in the latter stages at the head of the field.

Valdes Alvarez drew up alongside the Italian with the pair going stroke for stroke and even coming together.

The pack was tightly bunched with Martinez Guillen timing her strike for home perfectly to make her way through and head the field into the finishing shoot for victory.

Credit to: European Aquatics

Martinez Guillen said: “The final part of the race was crazy.

“There was a lot of people.”

Lisa Pou of Monaco was fifth home in 1:56:42.50 with De Valdes Alvarez, who won silver at Doha 2024, eighth (1:56:43.69) and 2023 world champion Leonie Beck 11th in 1:56:52.11.

The second leg of the European Aquatics Open Water Swimming Cup 2024 will be held in Barcelona, Spain, on 29 June.

Link to results here.