2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships – Open Water
- July 13th-19th, 2019
- Yeosu Expo Ocean Park, South Korea
The Hungarians, hosts of the last edition of the World Championships, picked up the first medals of the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships this week at the Yeosu Expo Ocean Park. 22-year old Kristof Rasovszky won the men’s 5km race on Saturday morning in South Korea, backing up his win in the same at last year’s European Championships (where he also won the 25km race and took silver in the premier 10km race).
Rasovszky pushed the pace early before settling in to the pack on the 5th lap (out of 9), allowing Logan Fontaine to take the lead. He never lost touch with the pack, though, and on the penultimate lap, he opened up a big lead on the field (4 seconds), and inched away for a comfortable 10.1 second win.
This outcome is the largest margin of victory since the 2001 World Championships, when Italy’s Luca Baldini won by 54 seconds. Since then, all races have been decided by 2 seconds or less. The time is also the fastest-ever 5km swim at the World Championships.
Fontaine faded hard on the 8th lap, back to 10th place; but the final lap, aside from Rasovszky running away from the field, was wild. Fontaine and Hedlin charged to the front late to take the minor podium spots.
This race was missing a number of the biggest open water stars in the world – primarily because the upcoming men’s 10km race on Tuesday is an Olympic selection event. None of the 3 medalists from the 2017 World Championships in this race even raced on Saturday.
The Americans Michael Brinegar and Brennan Gravley finished 12th and 14th, respectively, at 15.0 and 15.7 seconds behind the winner Rasovszky. The United States has only won 1 medal in the 11 editions of the 5km race at the FINA World Championships: a silver from Chip Peterson in 2005.
Top 10 Finishers:
- Kristof Rasovszky, Hungary – 53:22.1
- Logan Fontaine, France – +10.1
- Eric Hedlin, Canada – +10.3
- Matej Kozubek, Czech Republic – +11.5
- Domenico Acerenza, Italy – +11.9
- Daniel Szekelyi, Hungary – +12.3
- Bailey Armstrong, Australia – +12.7
- Kirill Abrosimov, Russsia – +13.4
- Hayden Cotter, Australia – +13.4
- Guillem Pujol, Spain – +13.7
Medals Table – Open Water Swimming