LEN Open Water Cup 2023: Sanzullo and Fabian clinch the overall titles

France’s Marc-Antoine Olivier and German’s Lea Boy won the last leg of the LEN Open Water Cup in Barcelona respectively, but this time the silver medallists, Mario Sanzullo of Italy and Bettina Fabian of Hungary, were as happy if not happier since their runner-up position secured that both finished atop in the overall.

France’s top open water racer Marc-Antoine Olivier returned to the big stage with a great win – practically he finished the LEN Open Water Cup series as he had started it in Eilat back in March, with a fine victory. What happened between the two is something Olivier would love to forget (had to serve an in-house suspension for disciplinary matters), and this brilliant swim should help the Frenchman in that.

It was a great battle between multiple world and European medallist Olivier and his two Italian challengers Mario Sanzullo and Marcello Guidi who also kept an eye on each other as they were gunning for the overall title. Sanzullo had a huge, 400-point advantage so all he needed is to finish close to Guidi. He did more, hit the panel ahead of his compatriot, by 0.3 sec, while Olivier was a clear first, with an advantage of 1.7sec. His second win in the series was enough to claim the third place in the overall, behind the two Italians.

The women’s event was similarly exciting as heading into Barcelona, in the overall, only 50 points separated the leader Arianna Bridi and upcoming Hungarian Bettina Fabian, who had won the previous leg in Velez. Over the second half of the race, ‘guest’ participant Aussie Moesha Johnson stormed away from the pack and hit the panel first – though her result did not count to the Cup results. Behind her, it was business as usual, Germany’s Lea Boy, Fabian and Bridi fought for the top three positions – they occupied the podium in the last three legs. 

It was a neck-to-neck finish, this time Boy had the better touch at the end, 1.1sec ahead of Fabian so she won three of the last four races. However, being absent in the first two legs, she could only finish third in overall. There Fabian, junior world champion and world silver medallist in the relay this summer, managed to overtake Bridi. The Italian finished behind her in the last three legs, here she couldn’t even make the podium (came fourth), and the Hungarian won by 100 points at the end – she had one race less but finished either 1st or 2ndin the last three competitions.

LEN Open Water Cup – Leg 6, Barcelona (ESP)
Men’s 10km: 1. Marc-Antoine Olivier (FRA) 1:52:52.8, 2. Mario Sanzullo (ITA) 1:52:54.6, 3. Marcello Guidi (ITA) 1:52:54.9
Women’s 10km: 1. Lea Boy (GER) 2:00:40.7, 2. Bettina Fábian (HUN) 2:00:41.8, 3. Caroline Jouisse (FRA) 2:00:43.3
Overall rankings (top 3)
Men: 1. Mario Sanzullo 3600 points, 3. Marcello Guidi 3100, 3. Marc-Antoine Olivier 1600
Women: 1. Bettina Fabian 3400, 2. Arianna Bridi 3300, 3. Lea Boy 3100