Paola Ruiz Stuns Sharon van Rouwendaal at Open Water Cup

Swim event TF Christiansborg Rundt 2018. Swim event TF Christiansborg Rundt 2018.
Photo Courtesy: Jesper Westley/LEN Media

David Aubry improved one position since the first leg of the LEN Open Water Cup: the Frenchman was second in Eilat and now won the race in Brive quite convincingly. Among the women, Spain’s Paola Ruiz stunned the favorites and out-touched Olympic champion Sharon van Rouwendaal to clinch the title.

Medalists

Men: 1. David Aubry (FRA) 1:54:31.45, 2. Athanasios Kynigakis (GRE) 1:54:36.47, 3. Alberto Martinez (ESP) 01:54:38.09

Women: 1. Paula Ruiz (ESP) 1:59:56.12, 2. Sharon van Rouwendaal (NED) 1:59:57.24, 3. Angelica Andre (POR) 2:00:34.15

While the opening leg of this season’s LEN Open Water Cup saw a French tide in the Red Sea as five of the six medals on offer went to the Gauls in Eliat, the second leg held in France stunningly saw only one local swimmer on the podium.

At least he stood on the top, at the men’s victory ceremony where David Aubry received the gold medal as he had managed to edge out Greece’s Athanasios Kynigakis and Spain’s Alberto Martinez in the finish. Aubry won by a 5-second margin, while the race for the silver was tight but the Greek touched in 1.62sec ahead of the Spaniard.

“It was a rather slow race, and I had problems to keep moving” David Aubry said after his fine win. “I tried to swim far ahead, but my arms where so heavy… Luckily, I eventually managed to increase my speed during the last lap.”

Though this 10km event also served as the French nationals and the a vast majority of the 118 male competitors lining up for the start represented the hosts, only three of them could make the Top 10 in the LEN race. World champion Marc-Antoine Olivier had to pull out en route as he lost his battle to the cold water.

On the contrary, the Spanish celebration went on in the afternoon, when Paula Ruiz could out-touch Sharon van Rouwendaal by 1.12sec for the gold. It was a two-horse race for the title, while three swimmers rushed for the bronze and stormed in 37 seconds behind the top two. Here Portugal’s Angelica Andre hit the panel 0.11sec earlier than the French world champion Aurelie Muller while compatriot Lara Grangeon came fifth with further 0.83sec adrift.

“I was ready for a hard race, for we had high level entries, Olympic and World champions” Ruiz said. “I like to swim in front, but during the last lap I saw other swimmers around me, so I tried to increase my speed. Though later on I understood that I overlapped some slower girls…”

More open water news here.

LEN Open Water Cup – Schedule

Leg 1 – Eilat (ISR) – 31 March

Leg 2 – Brive La Gaillarde (FRA) – 23 May

Leg 3 – Barcelona (ESP) – 29 June

Leg 4 – Ohrid (MKD) – 18 August

Leg 5 – Copenhagen (DEN, 6km) – 31 August

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