BERLIN, Germany, August 14. A day after Sharon Van Rouwendaal won the women’s 10K open water swim for the Netherlands at the European championships, the Dutch flag was flying high again today with Ferry Weertman’s victory in the men’s race. Weertman was well back in the pack after the first loop but started to work his way into the lead by the halfway point.
In eighth position going into the final 2.5 kilometers, Weertman turned on the afterburners to pass leaders Axel Reymond of France, Gergely Gyurta of Hungary and Thomas Lurz of Germany. Weertman won gold with a time of one hour, 49 minutes, 56.2 seconds. Lurz, the reigning European champion after winning the past three titles, was almost three seconds back with a 1:49:59.0. Evgenii Drattcev took the bronze with a 1:50:00.6.
Reymond fell back to ninth place, while Gyurta finished tenth. Sypridon Gianniotis, the reigning 10K world champion from Greece, was never in the medal hunt, placing eighth.
Despite Lurz’s inability to successfully defend his 10K title, Germany got a win today with Isabelle Harle’s win in the women’s 5K over 10K champion Van Rouwendaal. Harle was racing alone for pretty much the entire race, completing the first half 18 seconds ahead of Van Rouwendaal and winning the event by 34 seconds. Taking bronze in what will likely be the first of many European championship medals in the coming week was Spain’s Mireia Belmonte. She’s looking to win multiple medals in the pool starting on Monday in distance free, as well as the butterfly and individual medley events. Hungary’s Eva Risztov, the reigning Olympic 10K champion, finished fourth.