Leonie Beck, Florian Wellbrock Make it German Sweep in World Aquatics Open Water Cup

Florian Wellbrock; Photo Courtesy: Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Leonie Beck, Florian Wellbrock Make it German Sweep in World Aquatics Open Water Cup

Germany ruled the first World Aquatics Open Water Swimming World Cup stop of the 2023 season, with Leonie Beck and Florian Wellbrock picking up wins last weekend at Soma Bay in Egypt.

Beck won the women’s 10-kilometer race over a field that included the last two Olympic champions. Wellbrock pulled away late to win the men’s 10K, and Wellbrock joined Jeannette Spiwoks, Celine Rieder and Oliver Klemet to win the 4 x 1,500 relay on to cap the meet.

Beck made her move late, pulling ahead at the 8,000-meter check in on the way to a time of 2 hours, 4 minutes, 4.6 seconds. She had been 18th after the opening 2,000 meters and 12th at 4,000.

“After half of the race, I came into the race and I found my speed,” Beck told the World Aquatics website. “It definitely wasn’t the plan to be so behind at the beginning.”

Beck and Sharon van Rouwendaal, the 2016 Olympic champion from the Netherlands, stayed in the lead for the final 2,000 meters. Eventually, Beck kicked to the line 2.7 seconds ahead. Third went to Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha, the reigning Olympic champion, 6.4 seconds back of Beck. France’s Aurelie Muller was fourth.

Also in the mid was Viviane Jungblut of Brazil, an accomplished pool swimmer, in fifth. Teenager Mafalda Rosa of Portugal finished sixth. Spiwoks and Rieder were seventh and eighth, respectively, while early leader Moesha Johnson of Australia slipped to 10th.

The men’s race came down to the final few meters, with Wellbrock brandishing the speed to outkick Frenchman Marc Antoine Olivier to the line. It required a photo finish to separate them, the German in front by a single tenth after nearly two hours of racing, in 1:52.53.2.

“Today’s a really good result, first of all, for the first open water race of 2023,” Wellbrock said. “Everybody knows my shape is really good after my 14:34 (1500m in the pool last month in Berlin). It was about taking that shape and condition and bringing it to open water racing.”

France placed four swimmers in the top 10, with Logan Fontaine third, 1.8 seconds back of Wellbrock. Fourth was Kristof Rasovszky, last year’s series overall winner, with Italians Marcello Guidi and Mario Sanzullo trailing him. Olympian Mykhailo Romanchuk was ninth, 46 seconds off the pace.

The five-nation team race brought little drama, Germany winning in 1:02.50.10, a margin of 58.4 seconds of France. Muller led Spiwoks at the first leg by a half-second, but Rieder opened up a 40-second edge on her leg to all but end it.

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x