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Van Rouwendaal clinches women’s 5km open water swimming title at European Championships

by ZwemZa on August 8th, 2018

Sharon van Rouwendaal won the women’s 5km open water swimming event ©Getty Images

Sharon van Rouwendaal was crowned women’s five kilometres open water swimming champion at the European Championships here today.

The Dutch swimmer was the bronze medallist two years ago in the event, when the open water competitions were held in front of a home crowd in Hoorn.

Van Rouwendaal put herself at the head of the field from the outset at Loch Lomond today, as she looked to upgrade to the gold medal.

She would lead through each of the time checks throughout the race, but was unable to shake the attentions of Germany’s Leonie Beck.

Beck appeared as though she could launch a sprint finish to deny the Dutch swimmer gold.

It would not prove the case, as Van Rouwendaal accelerated clear in the final quarter of the race to win gold in a time of 56min 1sec.

The silver would go to Beck, with the German eventually finishing 16 seconds off the pace.

There was a close battle for bronze between Italy’s Rachele Bruni and Arianna Bridi.

Bruni would get the better of her compatriot to clinch bronze in 56:49.7, with Bridi ending nine seconds further back.

Van Rouwendaal will now turn her attentions to winning the 10km title tomorrow, the event where she is the reigning Olympic champion.

Hungary’s Kristof Rasovszky was crowned winner of the men’s 5km race, following a tussle with France’s Axel Raymond.

Rasovszky would lead the standings at the first two time checks, but Raymond began to move past the Hungarian in the second half of the race.

It set up a sprint finish between the pair, with Logan Fontaine of France also in hot pursuit.

Rasovszky would regain the lead in the closing stages of the race, with the 21-year-old able to touch home in a winning time of 52:38.90.

Raymond finished just 2.8 seconds behind the winner as the end of a tightly fought race.

The podium was completed by Fontaine, who touched the finish a further 2.7 seconds down.

While there were two Frenchman on the podium, the surprise came with their world champion Marc-Antoine Olivier only ending in seventh place.

He finished 27.8 seconds off the pace of the winner and will hope for better fortunes in tomorrow 10km event.

Michael Pavitt | Inside the Games

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