Rio Olympic champion Sharon van Rouwendaal (NED) wins her first FINA World Championships in the Women's 10km open water event
Sharon van Rouwendaal (NED) won a fierce battle in the final sprint in the last meters of the 10km race that ended with her hand, the first among 58 swimmers, decisively striking the touchpad at 2:02.29.2. With today's victory, she and Larisa Ilchenko (RUS) are the only women to have won this event at the Olympic Games, European Championships and the FINA World Championships. Ilchenko was the 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist in the inaugural Marathon 10k. Ironically a race in which today's 10km bronze medalist, Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) finished in 5th place nearly 14 years ago at the Beijing Summer Games. Ilchenko was also the FINA World champion in 2007.
"It's pretty hard,” van Rouwendaal said. “All the time you have to find a different tactic and a different way to swim a 10km and today I think I did the perfect race. Today I was top fit and I felt really good. I was waiting for my moment and then in the end everything fell together - everything I had in my head fell together.
"I think I did a really good sprint, and I focused on myself and didn't look at the other girls and just looked at the finish and (swam) to get there as fast as possible," van Rouwendaal added. "I had a good feeling the whole race even if I was very far behind in the beginning. Every lap I felt sort of fresh and I could build up until the end. I really love Budapest and I won two golds here last year (at Europeans) and the conditions are perfect. FINA organized it really well and it is a super nice place for holidays, but we have to race here and I really like this lake.”
In today's 10km race at Lupa Lake the Dutch swimmer battled with Cunha who was leading for most of the final lap before she was passed by Germany's Leonie Beck with about 100 meters left in the race. Beck was the first to overtake Cunha, but van Rouwendaal immediately joined the fray, apparently using her energy left in reserve. After finishing 16 seconds behind Cunha in yesterday’s 5km it was uncertain if the Dutch swimmer was fatigued or would be “all in” for the final sprint to the finish.
Cunha had let her lead slip away, but she was far from giving up. The Brazilian champion in the 5km just a day earlier fought back with her own nearly depleted reserves so that there were three swimmers converging together with the same objective of reaching the touchpad first.
Cunha, Beck and van Rouwendaal were “neck and neck” and it was van Rouwendaal who pulled ahead when it mattered most. Beck could feel a podium finish within her reach, but the sprint by van Rouwendaal left no doubt about who won. In a photo finish van Rouwendaal got the final touch, just 0.5 seconds over Beck. In the final analysis and inspection of the finish line cameras, Cunha would earn a bronze medal finishing 1.5 seconds behind the Dutch champion.
Germany’s Beck earned her second open water medal in Budapest 2022, a member of the gold medal 4x1500 mixed relay on the first day of competition at Lupa Lake. It is also her third career medal at Worlds, after a bronze in Gwangju in the 5km.
“We were really close in the sprint,” Beck said. “It is better if you are a bit on your own and grab your own water. Of course there is a little luck in the end with who touches second and third and first. I think 100 meters (from the finish) Ana and I were leading and Sharon managed to pass us. In the end I think Sharon did a really good job.”
The Brazilian swimmer Ana Marcela Cunha earned her second open water medal in today’s 10km, a bronze to go with yesterday’s gold medal in the 5K. Counting only the medals from the FINA World Championships, her personal medal count is bigger than all but a few of the national federations competing in Budapest. Her trophy case includes six gold medals, two silver and five bronze medals, all in open water events. Still on her program for Budapest 2022 is the 25km Race which will begin tomorrow morning at Lupa Lake. Cunha has won the 25K World title on four separate occasions - 2011, 2015, 2017, and most recently in 2019.
“I’m happy with the podium,” Cunha said. “I knew it would be difficult because the girls, Sharon and Leonie are so strong at this distance, even though they didn’t win a medal two days ago. In the 5km I had a stronger start, but today it was more difficult for me, I couldn’t do an easy swim with the proper technique. It was also very hot today, but tomorrow it will be even hotter, so I expect a really hard 25km. I’ll try to relax and recover as much as possible for tomorrow.”
400m - Eva Fabian - 5:48.5
800m - Angela Martinez Guillen (ESP) - 10:18.9
FIRST LOOP (1.5KM)
Maria DeValdes (ESP) 20:12.1 - 37.5 strokes per minute
Eva Fabian (ISR) +2.6 seconds behind -
Le Boy (GER) +3.4 seconds behind - 37.7 strokes per minute
Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) +4.7 seconds behind - 35.5 strokes per minute
Chelsea Gubecka (AUS) +4.8 seconds behind - 37.6 strokes per minute
Anna Olasz (HUN) 47.40.5 - 45.4 strokes per minute
Rachele Bruni (ITA) +1.1 seconds back - 39.8 seconds back
Aurelie Muller (FRA) +2.3 seconds back - 37.8 strokes per minute
Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) +2.5 seconds behind - 35.2 strokes per minute
Chelsea Gubecka (AUS) +4.8 seconds behind - 39.0 strokes per minute
Giulia Gabbrielleschi (ITA) +4.8 seconds behind - 37.9 strokes per minute
THIRD LOOP (4.9KM)
Aurelie Muller (FRA) - 1:02.02.8 - 37.2 strokes per minute
Katie Grimes (USA) +1.3 seconds behind - 30.6 strokes per minute
Maria DeValdes (ESP) +2 seconds behind
Lea Boy (GER) +3.1 seconds behind - 40.3 strokes per minute
Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) +3.2 seconds behind
FOURTH LOOP (6.5KM)
Aurelie Muller (FRA) - 1:22.32.1 - 39. strokes per minute
Katie Grimes (USA) +0.9 seconds behind - 31.5 strokes per minute
Giulia Gabbrielleschi (ITA) +3.4 seconds behind - 39.4 strokes per minute
Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) +3.9 seconds behind
Chelsea Gubecka (AUS) +5.5 seconds behind - 40.2 strokes per minute
FIFTH LOOP (8.2KM)
Sharon Van Rouwendaal (NED) 1:42.46.2 - 39.5 strokes per minutes
Aurelie Muller (FRA) +2 seconds behind
Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) +2.6 seconds behind - 38.5 strokes per minute
Katie Grimes (USA) +2.7 seconds behind - 31.5 strokes per minute
Leonie Beck (GER) +3.1 seconds behind
GOLD - Sharon Van Rouwendaal (NED) - 2:02.29.2 WINNING TIME. The gold medalist swam a total of 4643 strokes, averaging 37.9 strokes per minute.
SILVER - Leonie Beck (GER) - +0.5 seconds behind the winner. The silver medalist swam a total of 5128 strokes, averaging 41.8 strokes per minute.
BRONZE - Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) +1.5 seconds behind the winner. The bronze medalist swam a total of 4913 strokes, averaging 36.6 strokes per minute.
AIR, WATER TEMPS & STATS
The water temperature measured by the FINA Officials before the race was 27.3 and the air temperature at the start of the race was 26, but increased to 34 degrees at the finish. A total of 58 swimmers finished the event. One swimmer was over the time limit (OTL), finishing more than 30 minutes after the winner, and her time was not recorded. Two swimmers did not finish the race.
WHAT WAS SAID AT THE POST-EVENT PRESS CONFERENCE
Beck: (on winning silver medal) "I won a gold and a silver medal. The last World Championships I won bronze in 5K and I qualified for Tokyo so it was good, but I am very happy with two medals.
Today's race was not the easiest one but the conditions were perfect. I like warm water more than cold water and I am so so thankful that Budapest organized everything for the World Championships so we could participate. There is no better place.
van Rouwendaal: (on racing with same people each year) "It's pretty hard. All the time you have to find a different tactic and a different way to swim a 10K and today I think I did the perfect race. For me, today I was top fit and I felt really good and I was waiting for my moment and then at the end everything fell together - everything I had in my head fell together. I think I did a really good sprint, and I focused on myself and didn't look at the other girls and just looked at the finish and get there as fast as possible. I had a good feeling the whole race even if I was very far behind in the beginning. Every lap I felt sort of fresh and I could build up until the end.
On hot weather: "I really like cold water and cold conditions. Today was actually OK, I had more problems with the 5(K) and the water temperature and swimming at 12. That was really warm for me. Today I thought the weather was better, and I think it was because the pace was lower than at the 5 so I could have more energy and I tried to drink every time to get my energy in. I really love Budapest and I won two golds here last year (at Europeans) and the conditions are perfect. FINA organized it really well and it is super nice place for holidays, but we have to race here and I really like this lake.
SVR (on final touch over Cunha and Beck) "I didn't see what was going on between the two of them. I just tried to focus on the finish plate and let them race together and I tried to pull myself away off Katie Grimes and Aurelie (Muller). I built up my sprint and we were in that finish line and I think I was still a little behind. In the end, both of them did a lot of work and were sprinting with each other, where I could still build it up and touch first at the end.
Beck (on final touch) "We were really close and like Sharon said, in the sprint it is better if you are a bit on your own and grab your own water. Of course there is a little luck in the end with who touches second and third and first. I think Sharon did a really good job - I think 100 meters before Ana and me were leading and Sharon managed to pass us. In the end I think Sharon did a really good job.
SVR (on familiarity with course) "I don't think so but this course was really clear for me. It's like 250 meters until the finish and you can already see the finish, which I really like because sometimes it went wrong. Here, normally it is clear you don't swim the wrong way. I think it is a perfect course, and the weather is good so that with these rounds we can drink twice in one round and once everyone hits 6K it's important to do that.
SVR (on race day prep) "We both took the bus at 5:30, so earlier than some other girls. And then we have breakfast on the bus because breakfast is not open in the hotels. Then we check in and get our numbers and our transponders, and they check our fingernails. And if everything is correct and approved then we start our own preparations. I usually do dryland and some stretching and mostly I go in the water to wake up a little - it's just a little sprint, just 10 minutes in the water and to cool down actually so that afterwards I can put on my suit without it being too hot. Afterwards, we put the transponder on, and then it's last minute preparations with the suit and the vaseline and it's time to go.
LB: "My alarm was at 4:37 but I was so tired, I slept for 10 more minutes. And then I just had to have something to eat. At 5 a.m. you are already excited but you have to eat because it is a hard sport. Not eating is worse because in the end there is no energy in your body. We try our best to eat as much as possible in the morning and then we prepare and concentrate, and go through the race. Do everything we need to.
SVR: "That's the hardest thing, to eat a lot before a race because you have that sort of competition feeling and that feeling in your stomach that you're not really hungry but you have to eat. I ate in the bus and in my room before, and I try to eat every 30 minutes afterwards but I really don't want to eat, and I am drinking it away with water to get something in. Sometimes in the race I could get sick a little and I try not to vomit. I'm very close to vomiting and then i am thinking, 'no the energy needs to be in my body' so after the race I vomit. I was going deep and then I walked and everything came out - the emotion and the stress and everything I ate before. In the race I really try not to vomit.
SVR (what are you eating) "This morning it was something that I like - bread with nutella and bananas. Some typical Dutch breakfast. Normally I would like to have bread and eggs and bacon but it's too much and it's going to go out anyway. I try to just eat something that I look forward to eating and it's not the best option, nutella, but this morning it was the only thing I could eat.
LB "I usually also eat bread with nutella and that's something I like. I love Nutella and at 5 a.m. it's also hard for me to eat but it is better than nothing. What's really hard is I try to eat corn with milk so it's like baby food. It's really disgusting but it's healthy and it helps to perform.
SVR (on Paris in 2 years) "I'm really thinking about each moment. I am getting a little bit older so every competition that I do I try to prepare myself really good mentally. I think it is really important. Next week, we have the World Cup in Paris already and I really want to swim well there so I am more focused on now in the moment than in two years. And in two years we will see how I am feeling. Of course, I would like to have another medal and another win but of course I am focused on right now.