Domenico Acerenza Leads Italian Clean Sweep, Leonie Beck Wins Sprint Finish As Open Water World Cup Gets Under Way

Domenico Acerenza: Photo courtesy: Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Domenico Acerenza Leads Italian Clean Sweep, Leonie Beck Wins Sprint Finish As Open Water World Cup Gets Under Way

Domenico Acerenza led an Italian clean sweep of the podium as the World Aquatics Open Water Swimming World Cup 2024 got under way in Soma Bay, Egypt.

Acerenza, who qualified for Paris 2024 with seventh at last month’s World Championships in Doha, went ahead on the second lap after Hungary’s David Betlehem having led after the first with Marc-Antoine Olivier.

Just 10 seconds split first to 19th as the field contended with the choppy conditions with Betlehem again going out into the lead at the end of lap four as an eight-strong group opened up a gap on the rest.

The Hungarian was still in front at the start of the final lap but Team Italy was dominating the leading packwith seven of the 11 swimmers.

The last 200m was a straight sprint to the finish in a wind-sheltered harbour, with smaller waves on the last 100m.

Five men were in a line with Betlehem, the Italians and Olivier with Acerenza going to the head of the field and touching first in 1:55.26.40 ahead of Gregorio Paltrinieri (1:55.28.90) and Dario Verani (1:55.29.50) wiht Olivier fourth in 1:55.31.

Athletes earn sprint points for passing through specific, pre-determined points within the individual 10km events, during this event they saved points after the first, third and fourth laps.

After each World Cup, the current highest cumulative sprint point-scoring athlete will carry the score into the following stop with Betlehem scoring the most with 80.

The World Cup Junior Leader will be awarded to the overall best-ranked young male and female athlete (aged 19 and under, as of 31 December 2023) in the 10km events. The current overall leader of the junior ranking will carry the title to the following stop with 18-year-old Piotr Wozniak from Poland ahead after the opening leg.

Leonie Beck won the women’s race in a sprint finish after moving from 18th place.

Ginevra Taddeucci led the field on the back straight on the final lap with Bettina Fabian taking over the lead going into the final 200m sprint.

But Beck used all her experience and overhauled the Hungarian in the last two metres to take the win in 2:04.31.00, 0.40secs ahead of Fabian who clocked 2:04.31.40.

Angela Martinez Guillen was third in 2:04.33.80, a historic moment as the first Spanish woman to have stood on the World Cup podium.

Paula Otero Fernandez won 90 sprint points ahead of Taddeucci (55) with Lamees Elsokarry heading the juniors.





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