Matteo Furlan (ITA) and Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) were the winners of the fourth and last leg of the 2017 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix, a race held between Capri and Napoli, in Italy, on September 3. The Italian champion completed the 16km in 3h53m37s, while the Brazilian star touched home in 3h58m43s. A total of 29 swimmers (17 men and 12 women) contested the race.
Besides Furlan’s success, other Italian competitors were successful in home waters. Still among men, Andrea Bianchi was silver medallist in 3h53m43s, while the two minor medals in the women’s field also went to local heroes: Alice Franco was second in 4h09m16s, while Ilaria Raimondi earned bronze in 4h13m31s. The third best in the men’s race was Argentina’s Guillermo Bertola in 3h54m02s.
Curiously, this was the first men’s Italian triumph of the season, after previous victories of Damian Blaum (ARG), in Santa Fe (ARG), Bertola in Lac St-Jean (CAN) and Alexander Studzinski (GER) in Lake Ohrid (MKD). Blaum was seventh in Capri-Napoli, while the German ace was fourth in the last competition of 2017.
Among women, this was, on the contrary, the first non-Italian win of the year. In Argentina and Republic of Macedonia Barbara Pozzobon (fourth at home) was the winner, while in Canadian waters Martina Grimaldi (sixth in Italy) had been first.
Traditionally, the Capri-Napoli event is a 36km race, but bad weather conditions this Sunday dictated a new distance course, shortened to 16km.
Both Furlan and Cunha had also good performances at the recent 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest (HUN), with the Italian getting the silver in the 25km event and the Brazilian icon amassing three medals: gold in the 25km and bronze in the 5km and 10km.
MEDALLISTS IN CAPRI-NAPOLI (ITA)
1. Matteo Furlan (ITA), 3h53m37s; 2. Andrea Bianchi (ITA), 3h53m43s; 3. Guillermo Bertola (ARG), 3h54m02s
1. Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA), 3h58m43s; 2. Alice Franco (ITA), 4h09m16s; 3. Ilaria Raimondi (ITA), 4h13m31s
Press release courtesy of FINA