2017 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
On the heels of Olympic champion Ferry Weertman‘s gold in the men’s 10k open water race yesterday, hopes were high that the women’s 10k gold medalist from Rio, fellow Dutch swimmer Sharon van Rouwendaal, could follow suit in today’s 5k. Although van Rouwendaal was in contention with the lead pack for much of the race, she wound up in 4th place overall.
American Ashley Twichell took the gold, with the 10k champion here in Lake Balaton, French swimmer Aurelie Muller, finishing with the silver. It was a battle for bronze between van Rouwendaal and Brazilian Ana Marcela Cunha, with Cunha proving to have the quicker hand on the touchpad to round out the top 3.
For van Rouwendaal, the former world champion says she is pleased with the race, but was ‘unlucky’ at the finish. So much so that she and her camp lodged a protest, charging that Muller cut the Dutch swimmer off, blocking her from the finish area entrance and preventing her from touching for bronze. The protest was dismissed, with the final result of van Rouwendaal missing out on a medal by just one tenth of a second.
“I was hampered by Muller; she cut me off at the entrance of the finish area. Then, Cunha was suddenly beside me.” Van Rouwendaal says that those kinds of struggles ‘always happen to her’, citing that she is ‘unlucky at World Championships.’ (KNZB)
Especially considering van Rouwendaal was suffering from mono as recent as March of this year, she summed up her performance by saying, ‘No words. Great race, bad finish.’