2021 FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series – Grand Finale
- December 15-16, 2021
- Yas Bay, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Events: 10km for men and women, mixed 6km relay
It was double gold for the Germans at the Grand Finale of the FINA Marathon Swim World Series in Abu Dhabi, which took place Wednesday and Thursday prior to the start of the Short Course World Championships in the pool.
Additionally, the Italians won the mixed team relay, which featured two men and two women swimming 1500m each.
- Florian Wellbrock (GER), 1:48:09.40
- Domenico Acerenza (ITA), 1:48:12.00
- Kristof Rasovszky (HUN), 1:48:23.60
- Pasquale Sanzullo (ITA), 1:48:24.10
- Mario Sanzullo (ITA), 1:48:24.80
Wellbrock got out to an early lead and held on late, fending off a charge from Italian Domenico Acerenza, who finished less than three seconds back.
France’s Marc-Antoine Olivier was notably disqualified after receiving a Red Card for unsportsmanlike conduct just under 43 minutes into the race. Olivier was the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist in the men’s 10km.
Olivier ended up finishing second in the overall series standings behind Rasovszky by just 150 points. In order to be eligible to be ranked in the overall standings, swimmers must have participated in at least 50 percent of the series, including the final event.
- Kristof Rasovszky (HUN), 2550 points
- Marc-Antoine Olivier (FRA), 2400 points
- Niklas Frach (GER), 1650 points
- Matteo Furlan (ITA), 1,130 points
- Axel Reymond (FRA), 1,120 points
- Leonie Beck (GER), 1:58:17.00
- Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA), 1:58:19.30
- Sharon van Rouwendaal (NED), 1:58:22.10
- Lara Grangeon De Villele (FRA), 1:58:30.20
- Caroline Laure Jouisse (FRA), 1:58:30.50
Beck came from behind on the last lap to run down Cunha and win by over two seconds in 1:58:17.00, while the Brazilian won silver and the Netherlands’ Sharon van Rouwendaal finished third.
American Katie Grimes was the early leader through the first 1000m, and then van Rouwendaal would go on to assert herself at the front of the lead pack for the majority of the race.
Cunha then charged ahead of van Rouwendaal late, but Beck made a last-second push (after sitting in eighth at the 8500m mark) to secure the win.
“This is a bit of a surprise for me,” Beck said post-race. “I started slowly. I wanted to save energy for the finish, but I was too slow and I found myself at the very end, perhaps in the last position, so I tried to catch the first pack, then another pack, then another pack.”
- Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) / Oceane Cassignol (FRA), 2300
- Giulia Gabbrielleschi (ITA), 2050
- Anna Olasz (HUN), 1498
- Leonie Beck (GER), 1300
Cunha’s runner-up finish moved her into a tie with France’s Oceane Cassignol, who finished sixth, atop the overall standings.
- Italy, 1:06:49.10
- Hungary, 1:06:51.70
- Germany, 1:07:29.00
- USA, 1:08:17.10
- Great Britain, 1:08:38.90
In the first-ever mixed 4×1500 relay, the Italians won gold thanks to a big leg from Gregorio Paltrinieri, who put up the fastest split in the field at 15:49.1.
Hungary’s Kristof Rasovszky battled neck-and-neck with Paltrinieri on the final lap, ultimately recording an anchor leg of 15:52.3.
Paltrinieri’s split gave Italy the victory in 1:06:49.10, with the Hungarians just over two seconds back for bronze. Germany won bronze, with Wellbrock splitting 15:53.9 on the final leg.