Greg Eggert, FINA Media Committee Honorary Secretary

Twenty-two year old Kristov Rasovszky of Hungary swam to an easy victory in the men's 5km open water race claiming his first gold medal in Open Water events at the FINA World Championships. Logan Fontaine of France claimed the silver medal and Eric Hedlin of Canada was touched out by the French swimmer, earning the bronze medal.

This was the first race of seven events to be contested over 6 days of competition at the Yeosu EXPO Ocean Park Open Water Swimming Competition venue. Sixty-one athletes started the race which was swum in near ideal conditions despite a slight drizzling rain. Only one swimmer did not finish.

The Hungarian swimmer handily outpaced his challengers, finishing in a time of 53:22.1 and more than ten seconds ahead of Logan Fontaine, the 20 year-old French swimmer. Rasovszky split 27:53.0 at the 2.5km mark where he was 3.6 behind the race leader, Fontaine at the midpoint of the race. 

Close finish between Fontaine (FRA) and Hedlin (CAN) - Photo by gettyimages

Rasovszky represented his country at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Last year, he won the 5km and the 25km open water events in the 2018 European Aquatics Championships. In 2017, he won four FINA Marathon Open Water Swimming World Cup events. The Hungarian is the only one of today's medallists who will be competing in the 10km event on July 16th.

Silver medallist Fontaine earned a silver medal in the 5km at the 2018 European Aquatics Championships finishing behind Rasovszky held in Glasgow (GBR). Fontaine was a member of the gold medal winning 5km Mixed Team event swum two years ago at Lake Balaton during the 2017 Budapest FINA World Championships. 

The men's 5km podium - Photo by gettyimages

Eric Hedlin, the 26 year-old bronze medallist from Canada, owns a silver medal from the 2013 Barcelona FINA World Championships. Officially, Hedlin's time was 53:32.4, and 10.3 seconds behind the race winner, but the race for silver and bronze was regarded as a photo finish. Hedlin claimed a bronze medal in the 800m at the Universiade held in Kazan also in 2013. In 2018, he earned a silver medal in the 10km race at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships held in Tokyo.  


Kristov Rasovszky (HUN), gold:  

“It was a huge race, great speed, no tactical swims, just go. I toyed with the idea to stay a bit behind before I geared up but there was a tremendous fight at the turns so I saw it was better to stay in front and not be part of that tussle. I launched my finish a bit earlier than expected but it all worked well. Now this is a great feeling, this gold eases the pressure before the 10km so I think I can show my real potential there.”

Logan Fontaine (FRA), silver:

“I'm extremely happy, as soon as I was with the Canadian in the finish lane, I knew I could touch in front. I saved my energy as I knew the finish would be fast. The Hungarian was stronger and I could not do better than second place. I worked all year very hard. The hardest this year was to come back after the disappointment on the 10km.”

Eric Hedlin (CAN), bronze: 

“The course was beautiful, with very few waves, it was very straightforward, three laps. I felt good. The beginning was all about getting into a rhythm and conserving energy for the final sprint at the end. I felt like i had a back end, with much more (energy) than I had in the past. I felt that I was able to lift my legs even during the final sprint. Unfortunately, Logan (Fontaine) out-touched me at the finish. I am really happy with the result and very happy to be back on the podium.”