Olivier And Beck Earn Top Spots At First Stop Of FINA 2020 Marathon Series

by Ben Dornan 0

February 15th, 2020 Asia, International, News, Open Water


The first of 10 stop on the 2020 FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series occurred today in Doha, Qatar. Racing today were 74 men and 53 women in five 2 kilometer-long laps at Katara beach. The men’s race ended with a victory from France’s Marc-Antoine Olivier, with Leonie Beck of Germany winning the women’s gold.

Olivier, the 2016 10k Olympic bronze medalist faced stiff competition from Germans Rob Muffels and Florian Wellbrock. Olivier finished in a time of 1:49:46.6, with Muffels and Wellbrock coming in 12.6 and 12.7 seconds later, respectively.

The trio of Olivier, Muffels and Wellbrock are no stranger to sharing the podium as it was that same three who went 1-2-3 in the 10km this past summer at the 2019 World Swimming Championships in Gwangju, South Korea. At that meet, Wellbrock took gold, Olivier silver and Muffels bronze.

Coming in just behind the top three was Frenchman Fares Zitouni with a 1:50:00.8 for fourth and Gregorio Paltrinieri was fifth with a 1:50:01.0.

On the women’s side, it was a photo finish when Leonie Beck finished in a 1:56:41.1, followed by Ana Marcela Cunha and Sharon van Rouwendaal who tied for second, 0.2 seconds behind Beck in 1:56:41.3.

Beck swam at the 2016 Olympics for Germany in the 800 in which she finished 25th. Since then, Beck has shifted to racing open water more and picked up two silvers at the 2018 European Swimming Championships in the individual 5km and the team 5km. Beck will race in Tokyo this summer in the 10km marathon.

Silver medalist Ana Marcela Cunha, now 27 has been representing Brazil on the international open water scene since 2006 when she won gold in the 5k and 10k at the South American Games. Cunha is a four time World Champion in the 25k marathon (2011/2015/2017/2019). Cunha has historically been more successful in the 25k but is set to head to Tokyo for what will be her third Olympic performance. Cunha finished 10th at both the 2008 and 2016 Olympics in the 10k.

Sharing the silver medal with Cunha Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands. Van Rouwendaal, began her elite swimming career as a 100 and 200 backstroker has since evolved into a leading open water swimmer. In 2o16, after a disappointing 19th place finish in the 400 free, she won withdrew from the 800 and went on the take gold in the 10k by 17 seconds. Van Rouwendaal will join Beck and Cunha in Tokyo, where she will have a chance to defend her title.

A total of $30,000 in prize money was handed out at the meet, with the top 8 each receiving an award – $3,500 to each winner.

Rounding out the women’s top five where Italy’s Arianna Bridi with a 1:56:42.4 and American Haley Anderson with a 1:56:42.9.

Men’s Top 10

  1. Marc-Antoine Olivier (FRA) – 1:49:46.6 – $3,500
  2. Rob Muffels (GER) – 1:49:59.2 – $3,000
  3. Florian Wellbrock (GER) – 1:49:59.3 – $2,500
  4. Fares Zitouni (FRA) – 1:50:00.8 – $1,700
  5. Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) – 1:50:01.0 – $1,500
  6. Marcello Guidi (ITA) – 1:50:01.4 – $1,200
  7. Hayden Paul Cotter (AUS) – 1:50:01.5 – $950
  8. Ferry Weertman (NED) – 1:50:02.6 – $650
  9. Jack Burnell (GBR) – 1:50:03.1
  10. Hector Thomas Che Pardeo (GBR) – 1:50:03.6

Women’s Top 10

  1. Leonia Beck (GER) – 1:56:41.1 – $3,500
  2. Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) / Sharon van Rouwendaal (NED) – 1:56:41.3 – $2,750 each
  3. Arianna Bridi (ITA) – 1:56:42.4 – $1,700
  4. Hayley Anderson (USA) – 1:56:42.9 – $1,500
  5. Rachele Bruni (ITA) / Kareena Lee (AUS) – 1:56:43.9 – $1,075 each
  6. Samantha Arevalo (ECU) – 1:46:45.3$650
  7. Leo Boy (GER) – 1:46:46.1
  8. Alice Dearing (GBR) – 1:46:47.5

The next stop of the 2020 FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series will take place on May 3rd in Victoria, Seychelles.

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