The first big 10km open water race after the World Championships is coming this Saturday in Samorin (SVK). Leg 4 of the LEN Open Water cup is offering a fine mix of veterans of the discipline and hungry swimmers of the next generation.
The men’s field features two of Italy’s household names, Mario Sanzullo, the reigning European champion in 25km who also competed at the Tokyo Olympics, and Marcello Giudi who came up with a balanced performance in the World Cup Series and is currently ranked second in the overall in that competition. (Sanzullo is third, by the way.)
They will face a fierce challenge from 35 rivals, most of them upcoming youngsters, including a couple of medal winners from junior majors in recent years.
The landscape is similar in the women’s field. Two former European champions of the 25km, Italy’s Arianna Bridi (winner in Glasgow 2018) and Germany’s Lea Boy (gold medallist in Budapest 2021) are the most experienced competitors. Bridi, a two-time bronze medallist at the Worlds, is leading the overall in the LEN Cup and is ready to widen the gap ahead of her chasers. Boy, runner-up in the 25km at last year’s Worlds, can also strive for a top finish.
Still, there will be plenty of youngsters around, headed by Bettina Fabian, junior world champion last year and member of Hungary silver medal winning relay at the Fukuoka World Champs.
The start signal is due at 9.00AM on Saturday, stay tuned for the updates.