Wrong Turn Near Finish Causes Chaos in Women’s Euro 10K

2016 European Open Water Swimming Championships

In a battle of 3 of the top 4 finishers from last year’s World Championships, Italy’s Rachele Bruni and the defending World Champion Aurelie Muller of France tied to share gold in the women’s 10km title on the opening day of the 2016 European Aquatics Championships in Hoorn, Netherlands.

Bruni and Muller recorded identical 2:07.00.1 times, and without being able to separate the two, they tied for the win and will share gold. A review of photographs and video of the finish could not discern clearly the victor.

The times were rather lackluster (about 9 minutes shy of the typical world-class pace), but with the top 4 finishers just a month away from Olympic dreams, they kept close to the broader pack – with the top 14 all finishing within 30 seconds.

Italy took two of three podium spots: Arianna Bridi finished 3rd in 2:07.03.6.

The biggest story of the day was the 4th-place finish of defending champion Sharon von Rouwendaal of the Netherlands who came into this meet as the defending 10k champion.

While the nature of open water means that time projections can’t be made as confidently as in the pool, von Rouwendaal had perhaps the best chance at victory before she took a wrong turn at a buoy just before the finish. Von Rouwendaal went into that turn with a lead, but while returning to the correct course she was passed by the three women who ultimately finished in front of her.

Von Rouwendaal will be racing in both open water and the pool in Rio.

Two other contenders, both for this title and for the Olympic Games, were disqualified for making the same wrong term as von Rouwendaal in the chaos. Germany’s Isabelle Haerle, the defending European Champion over 5 kilometers; and Hungary’s Eva Risztov, who touched 3rd. Both were disqualified after the race, and the Hungarians have filed a protest of the finish.

1 64  ITA BRUNI Rachele 04 NOV 1990 2:07:00.1 20
1 56  FRA MULLER Aurelie 07 JUN 1990 2:07:00.1 20
3 63  ITA BRIDI Arianna 06 NOV 1995 2:07:03.6 3.5 15
4 65  NED VAN ROUWENDAAL Sharon 09 SEP 1993 2:07:06.8 6.7 14
5 67  POR ANDRE’ Angelica 13 OCT 1994 2:07:11.3 11.2 13
6 59  GER WUNRAM Finnia 18 DEC 1995 2:07:11.6 11.5 12
7 73  ITA GABBRIELLESCHI Giulia 24 JUL 1996 2:07:12.8 12.7
8 75  GBR HUSKISSON Danielle 27 MAR 1993 2:07:13.7 13.6 11
9 54  GRE ARAOUZOU Kalliopi 06 MAR 1991 2:07:14.0 13.9 10
10 55  POL BURSKA Justyna 07 APR 1995 2:07:14.5 14.4 9
11 71  CZE BENESOVA Alena 16 APR 1998 2:07:16.6 16.5 8
12 53  POL ZACHOSZCZ Joanna 17 APR 1993 2:07:17.4 17.3 7
13 74  HUN OLASZ Anna Greta 19 SEP 1993 2:07:28.9 28.8 6
14 58  RUS KULIK Daria 07 MAY 1996 2:07:29.8 29.7 5
15 62  ESP VILLAECIJA Erika 02 JUN 1984 2:09:00.2 2:00.1 4
16 72  SLO PERSE Spela 04 AUG 1996 2:09:00.5 2:00.4 3
17 57  RUS NOVIKOVA Mariia 27 MAR 1995 2:09:13.2 2:13.1 2
18 70  RUS SAGIROVA Aygul 16 OCT 1993 2:10:59.6 3:59.5
19 68  POR NEVES Vania 04 SEP 1990 2:11:00.1 4:00.0 1
20 52  CZE RYBAROVA Silvie 24 AUG 1985 2:11:13.1 4:13.0 1
21 66  UKR PANCHISHKO Krystyna 03 JUN 1998 2:12:11.8 5:11.7 1
22 60  SWE OLSSON Ellen 02 MAR 1995 2:12:23.8 5:23.7 1
23 51  UKR KYRYK Maryna 15 OCT 1997 2:13:54.9 6:54.8 1
DNF 76  GER ZIHSLER Svenja 09 JAN 1994 DNF
DSQ 61  HUN RISZTOV Eva Fruzsina 30 AUG 1985 DSQ
DSQ 77  GER HAERLE Isabelle 10 JAN 1988 DSQ

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Human Ambition
6 years ago

I was 10 m from Sharon when it happened. A real bummer. I almost dropped my camera in the water when we screamed at her to turn. It was not a turning buoy but a buoy marking the final funnel of the race. About 60 m from the finish. She had momentum and looked like the winner.

I would say it could have been avoided with a better course mapping by Dear Sharon. Course was quickly bending and a temporary optical illusion made the right buoy look like the left. She was very relaxed after however.

At Swedish nationals yesterday we had two swimmers missing a buoy as well.

Lennart van Haaften
Reply to  Human Ambition
6 years ago

I wish more effort would be put into making the course unambiguous.

Human Ambition
Reply to  Lennart van Haaften
6 years ago

Yes. We don’t want front running to be a risk.

6 years ago

“Italy’s Rachele Bruni and the defending World Champion Aurelie Muller of France tied to share gold in the women’s 10km title on the opening day of the 2015 World Aquatics Championships in Hoorn, Netherlands.” I don’t think this was the 2015 World Aquatics Championships.

Lennart van Haaften
Reply to  dmswim
6 years ago

“defending” is sometimes (confusingly) used instead of “reigning” at meets different from the one where the title was won.

6 years ago

I’m not very knowledgeable about open water, so someone please help me out. Von Rouwendaal made a wrong turn and got fourth, but two others made the same wrong turn as von Rouwendaal and got disqualified? The wording of the article makes it seem kind of arbitrary that von Rouwendaal wasn’t DQ’d but the other two were, so what did the latter two do differently than von Rouwendaal that got them disqualified? Did they not return to the correct course as she did?

Reply to  Braden Keith
6 years ago

Ah, I had the same question. Thanks.

Reply to  Sven
6 years ago

Von Rouwendaal swim back to the proper line but Isabelle Haerle and Éva Risztov swim under the rope to the proper line before the finish. It was a chaos. No exact lines one hour before the start of the race, very little marks, no dressing tent, etc. Éva Risztov was also disqualified in the Worlds before London so it’s not too bad for her:)

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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