By Noelle Theodoulou
The LEN Open Water Cup is approaching its 4th Leg of the series, taking place in Šamorín, Slovakia, on August 19th. The swimmers will race in the narrow tributary of the Danube River, with the event being held right outside the X-Bionic Hotel.
The first three races of the Open Water Cup were held in Eilat, Israel; Piombino, Italy; and Belgrade, Serbia, respectively. Europe’s best distance swimmers compete in the 10km races where they can earn prize money and points to obtain a ranking. You can refer to the current ranking list for men and women to see who is at the top of the leaderboards, as well as the ranking system.
Based on the rankings, the Italians are dominating the men’s and women’s sides. There is a tight contest on the women’s side for top rank between Arianna Bridi and Ginevra Taddeucci. Bridi has the lead over Taddeucci by a margin of 50 points. Taddeucci has only raced the first two Legs, claiming victory in Eilat and second place in her home country. On the other hand, Bridi has competed in all three events and had her best performance in Belgrade, securing second place. Last week at the 2023 Fukuoka World Championships, Taddeucci clinched 6th in the 10km and helped her Mixed 4x1500m relay team to win gold.
The Italians should keep an eye on German Lea Boy and French Oceane Cassignol, who have shown a lot of promise, taking a victory each for themselves. Boy recently won in Belgrade over a month ago, and Cassignol won in Piombino over two months ago. The two have raced once during the Open Water Cup and could stir up the rankings by competing in future events.
Four Italian men have separated themselves from the pack regarding their total points earned. Following behind the leader Marcello Guidi are Mario Sanzullo, Domenico Acerenza, and Andrea Filadelli in their respective positions. Acerenza is the only Italian with a victory thus far in the series. He recently earned bronze in the 5km and won gold with teammate Taddeucci in the Mixed 4x1500m in Fukuoka.
Hungarian Olympic silver medallist Kristof Rasovszky claimed victory in Belgrade and could cause trouble for the Italians. He also competed in Fukuoka, taking home two silvers in the 10km and Mixed 4x1500m relay.
After Šamorín, there will be two more events in Veles, North Macedonia, and Barcelona, Spain, to conclude the Open Water Cup.