Italy’s Acerenza Wins Funchal Open Water Stop; Puskovitch and Brinegar Earn Worlds Spots

2023 World Aquatics Open Water World Cup – Men’s 10K

Series titles were decided and World Championship spots were awarded on Saturday morning in Funchal, Portugal at the final stop of the 2023 World Aquatics Open Water World Cup.

The meet was originally scheduled to be hosted in Eilat, Israel, before being moved because of the outbreak of war in the region.

Italy’s Domenico Acerenza won the race in 1:45:06.20, roughly a five-second margin on Australian runner-up Nicholas Sloman, and roughly nine seconds ahead of 3rd-place finisher Kristof Rasovszky of Hungary.

2023 Funchal Open Water World Cup stop – top 10 finishers

  1. $3,500 – Domenico Acerenza, Italy – 1:45:06.20
  2. $3,000 – Nicholas Sloman, Australia – 1:45:11.70 (+5.50)
  3. $2,500 – Kristof Rasovszky, Hungary – 1:45:15.50 (+9.30)
  4. $1,700 – Hector Pardoe, Great Britain – 1:45:16.30 (+10.10)
  5. $1,500 – David Bethlehem, Hungary – 1:45:16.40 (+10.20)
  6. $1,200 – Kyle Lee, Australia – 1:45:16.50 (+10.30)
  7. $950 – Logan Fontaine, France – 1:45:16.60 (+10.40)
  8. $650 – Marc-Antoine Olivier, France – 1:45:16.60 (+10.50)
  9. Dario Verani, Italy – 1:45:16.90 (+10.70)
  10. Marcello Guidi, Italy – 1:45:17.00 (+10.80)

In the final race, it was actually France’s Logan Fontaine who led most of the lead, but Acerenza charged heading into the final lap, taking the lead and eventually winning by around 8 meters.

While that win for Acerenza picked him up a big 800 points in just his second tour of the year, climbing him to 4th in the overall rankings, it was Rasovszky who locked in his overall series title. With only one win out of four races, at the 2nd stop in Italy, it was his consistency that took him to the top – he was 4th in Egypt, 4th in stop 3 in Setubal, and 3rd in the final stop in Funchal on Saturday.

While there is modest money on offer for each stop, the big rewards come at the series finale, where the top 10 finishers of each gender have earned $175,000 dollars in total.

Overall Money Earners, 2023 World Aquatics Open Water World Cup

Swimmers must compete in at least 3 stops to be eligible for prize money.

Rank Swimmer Country Prize Money
1 Kristof Rasovszky Hungary $50,000
2 Marcello Guidi Italy $35,000
3 David Bethlehem Italy $25,000
4 Domenico Acerenza Italy $20,000
5 Marc-Antoine Olivier France $15,000
6 Mario Sanzullo Italy $12,000
7 Hector Pardoe Great Britain $8,000
8 Jules Wallart France $5,000
9 Oliver Klemet Germany $3,500
10 Andrea Manzi Italy $1,500

US Selections

The US was one of several countries that incorporated this race into their selection procedures for the 2024 World Aquatics Championships in February – crucial because that’s where the remainder of the slots for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will be awarded to top 13* finishers plus continental representatives.

*or 14 if France qualifies otherwise

The top American finisher was 22-year-old Ivan Puskovitch. He placed 24th in the race, about 34 seconds back in a very deep international field.

He will be joined by Michael Brinegar, 24, who earned the 2nd spot by placing 40th overall in 1:46:38.40. That was 92.20 seconds behind the winner Acerenza and 57.90 seconds behind Puskovitch, but crucially it was nine-tenths of a second ahead of 20-year-old Josh Brown to secure the 2nd American spot in the 10k for Doha.

The Americans will now have work to do in order to confirm a swimmer for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games next summer. If pared down via the way the selection procedures are written, Puskovitch would have been 13th with a limit of 2-per-country, minus those who have already earned spots via 2023 Worlds, though that rank is without most of Asia and several other top-20 swimmers competing.

The top American finisher at Worlds in 2023 was Brennan Gravley in 30th.

Puskovitch is a former USC Trojan who is planning to finish his career at West Virginia University. Currently training with Team Santa Monica in California, he told SwimSwam in September that he plans to join the team in January with two seasons of eligibility remaining.

Brinegar is training with Mark Schubert’s The Swim Team distance group in Southern California as well.

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2 months ago

No love for Claire Weinstein, her win, or her claiming her worlds spot

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of 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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