On the eve of a new open water season kicking-off, discipline champion Rachele Bruni of Italy took some time in the middle of her rigorous training programme to come back on her 2015 performances and share her vision and goals for 2016.

Last year, Rachelle Bruni was the overall FINA/HOSA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup winner, clinching gold at four legs (Patagones-Viedma, Abu Dhabi, Setubal and Lac Megantic) in the 2015 circuit. She was fourth in the Balatonfured race (HUN), while she placed sixth at the ultimate leg in Hong Kong.

The Italian athlete also performed well at last year’s FINA World Championships in Kazan 2015 as she placed fourth in the 10km race, given her a ticket to Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Bruni also finished fourth in the 5km mixed event, together with her compatriot Simone Ercoli and Federico Vanelli.

The 2016 circuit of the FINA/HOSA Marathon Swimming World Cup starts on February 7, with a first leg to be held in Viedma, Patagones, in Argentina.

©Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia

FINA: First of all, huge congratulations for winning last year's edition of the FINA/HOSA 10km MSWC - what is your general feeling for this year's circuit?
RB: Thank you!

I'm indeed very happy about my result and very proud because I'm the first Italian woman that wins the overall classification in the FINA/HOSA Marathon Swimming World Cup.

It was a very nice experience that gave me the possibility to improve myself as an athlete and as a person.

Different races, different places and a lot of nice people met on the way. I think this is the best part of my sport. It is so interesting!

Which race on the circuit is your favourite and why?

It's very hard to choose just one race because as I said before I always come back with very good feelings about the entire circuit...but I will say Abu Dhabi because it was my first time over there and I loved discovering this amazing place, and the race was exciting!


What has been your training routine since the last 2015 race in Hong Kong?

I had a little break after the Lac Megantic race and then a two-week holiday after the test event in Rio. I came back to my normal training on the second week of September and we just worked to be able to defend my front runner position in the overall rankings for the last two races.

I tried to do my best there. It was hard but I had fun during the races.


©Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia

Do you set yourselves specific objectives before a race and if so, which ones?

Of course, I always try to focus on some particular aspects of the race like trying to learn something new or improve my swim. It all depends on the race and the moment of the season.

You are qualified for Rio 2016 given your ranking in Kazan. This means that you do not have to take part in the qualifying event in Setubal in June. Does this make your season more relaxed or do you put a lot of pressure on yourself to reach other personal goals?

I think I will just have more time to train for the Olympics and I can focus on that race since the beginning of the season but this doesn't mean I’m more relaxed, just very motivated.

Of course we will have some intermediate goals to reach on our road to Rio including doing my best in all the legs of the 2016 FINA/HOSA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup I will take part in.

The full 2016 calendar of the FINA/HOSA 10KM MSWC is as follows:
1. Patagones-Viedma (ARG) – February 7, 2016
2. Abu Dhabi (UAE) – February 26, 2016
3. Balatonfured (HUN) – June 18, 2016
4. Lac St-Jean (CAN) – July 28, 2016
5. Lac Megantic (CAN) – August 13, 2016
6. Chun’An (CHN) – October 9, 2016
7. Honk Kong (HKG) – October 15, 2016