Leonie Beck, Gregorio Paltrinieri Secure 10k Titles At European Open Water Championships

2024 European Aquatics Championships – Open Water

The open water portion of the 2024 European Aquatics Championships got underway this week at Ada Ciganlija in Belgrade, Serbia. This week’s individual races include the 10k, 5k, and 25k, with a team event bringing the open water competition to a close.

Women’s Recap – 10k & 5k

The women’s race came down to the final touch, with Germany’s Leonie Beck getting her hand on the pad just a tenth ahead of her training partner Barbara Pozzobon. Beck, the defending World and European champion, stayed toward the middle of the pack until making a move in the final lap & straightaway, finishing with a time of 2:00.54.8.

Monaco’s Lisa Pou led much of the early portion of the race until the Italian duo of Pozzobon and Giulia Gabbriellschi took over the lead in the second half. Pozzobon ultimately secured her first individual European Championships medal with her 2nd place finish (2:00.54.9), while Gabbriellschi held on for 3rd to secure a 2-3 finish for Italy (2:00.58.5)

Beck added her 2nd gold medal of these European Championships in the 5k, another event that she is the defending World Champion in. She turned in a final time of 58:25.3, clearing Italy’s Ginevra Taddeucci (58.26.5) and Hungary’s Bettina Fabian (58:28.7)  by over a second.

Men’s Recap – 10k & 5k

The men’s 10k race was much different than the women’s, with Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri decisively winning by over a twenty second margin. Paltrinieri stayed near the front of the pack from the start, then began to build a gap as they turned into the final lap. He recorded a final time of 1:49:19.6, earning his second European Championship title in the event. 

The battle for 2nd behind Paltrienieri was much tighter, as the next four swimmers reached the pad within half a second of each other. Olympic bronze medalist Marc-Antoine Olivier of France came out on top of this group (1:49:41.0), making it his 3rd consecutive European Championship runner-up finish. Taking the bronze was Hungary’s David Betlehem (1:49:41.2), earning him his first individual medal at the senior level. 

Olivier and Betlehem both returned to action in the 5k. In a reversal of the 10k finish, it was Betlehem who got his hand on the wall ahead of Olivier, securing his first European title just a day after winning his first major medal. Betlehem’s training partner Kristof Rasovszky took an early lead, but Betlehem and Olivier broke off in the final 200m to post times of 53:28.3 and 53:28.7, respectively. Italy’s Marcelo Guidi took the 3rd spot with a final time of 53:30.8.

The competition will continue this week with the 25k and team event.

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