Olivier And Cassignol Enjoy Trips To The Podium At French Open Water Championships

Marc-Antoine Olivier Photo Courtesy: FINA/Doha 2020

The French Open Water Championships concluded on Monday in Jablines with two trips to the top of the podium for Olympic bronze medallist Marc-Antoine Olivier.

Olivier won the 5 and 10km races at Ile des Loisirs while countrywoman Oceane Cassignol also twice visited the rostrum.

Olivier – third in the marathon swim at Rio 2016 – won the 10km on Saturday in 1hr 53 mins 33.26secs, 4.51secs ahad of Fares Zitouni who won a tight finish with Sacha Velly in 1:53:37.77 to 1:53:38.13.

Olivier said:

“I swam well on the last lap, but the race was tough. I was not specially prepared for this 10km.

“We only eased off these last days. It was still important to get this title, also to see how I was going to be able to adapt and find solutions to finish ahead despite fatigue.”

Olivier returned to win the 5km in 52:40.19 more than 10secs ahead of Velly (52:50:90) with Axel Reymond third (52:51.68).

Reymond then triumphed in the 25km in which he has won the last two World Championships in 2017 and 2019.

He was first home in 4hrs 58mins 46.69secs ahead of Hector Pardoe, who trains under Philippe Lucas in Montpellier and touched in 4:59.03.92 – the first time a Briton has gone inside 5hrs for the distance although it is hard to compare race times given the varying conditions between races.

Marcel Schouten was third in 4:59:05.11.

The women’s 10k was won by Russia’s Anastassia Kirpitchnikova in 2hrs 00mins 45.28secs ahead of Cassignol (2:00:47.91) who touched out Brazil’s Ana Cunha by 0.04secs in 2:00:47.95.

It was Cassignol though who won the national title.

The same three women rounded out the top three in the 5k although it was world champion Cunha who topped the podium on this occasion in an emphatic 57:05.27.

Cassignol claimed silver in 58:47.60 with Kirpitchnikova – who is also guided by Lucas – third in 58:48.97.

Lisa Pou won the 25k in 5:19:15.75 ahead of Caroline Jouisse (5:22:11.71) and Marie Kuntzmann (5:27:44.38).

Link to results

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