Domenico Acerenza of Italy and Germany’s Leonie Beck won their maiden individual European Open Water titles on the final day of competition at Roma 2022.
Both swimmers returned to the water four hours later for the mixed 4x1500m relay event.
After an epic battle between five nations it was the hosts who finished first, with Acerenza climbing onto the top step of the podium again, this time alongside 5km champion Gregorio Paltrinieri, 10km silver medallist Ginevra Taddeucci and Rachele Bruni.
Hungary took silver, with France finishing third.
MEN’S 10KM OPEN WATER:
Acerenza, who claimed silver in the 5km event on Saturday behind Gregorio Paltrinieri, was again expected to do battle with his Italian team-mate.
However, they were just two among a host of possible medallists with the likes of Kristof Rasovszky and Marc-Antoine Olivier two other major ‘ones-to-watch’.
Hungarian David Betlehem was something of a surprise leader, but he swam off course in the latter stage of the race. That allowed the chasing group to close and pass.
Acerenza was at the head of that pack and he, along with Marc-Antoine Olivier and Logan Fontaine broken clear in the closing stages.
The Italian touched in one hour 50 minutes 33.6 seconds, with French duo Oliver (1:50:33.6) and Fontaine (1:50:39.1) completing the podium places.
“I’m really happy to finally win a big race and especially happy to do it here at home,” Acerenza told LEN TV.
“We had a great race over a really hard course, the waves didn’t make it easy for us but training here for years of course helped a lot.”
WOMEN’S 10KM OPEN WATER:
Fresh from victory over 5km world champion Sharon van Rouwendaal was looking for her second Roma 2022 gold and she would be in contention for much of this race.
The Dutch swimmer was among a group of six athletes who remained close for much of this contest before Italian Rachele Bruni and Anna Olasz dropped off the pace.
That left four chasing three medals.
Leonie Beck finished what she described as a “very disappointing” fifth in the 5km on Saturday and that fuelled her sprint finish as she powered clear of her three opponents to secure gold in 2:01:13.4.
Italy’s Ginevra Taddeucci (2:01:15.2) took silver, with Portugal’s Angélica André (2:01:16.4) just touching out van Rouwendaal for bronze, by 0.2 seconds.
“It was extremely hard, we had a lot of waves, I much more prefer courses similar to a flat pool, but I love Rome,” Beck told LEN TV.
“I made a lot of mistakes, lost the contact with the group in the front, had to catch them up and I could have saved more energy if I had stayed with them but I’m really happy with this win.”