The Dutch made it three, the Russians earned the first two
The Dutch swimmers proved they were the ruling nation of the open water events at this year’s European Championships in Berlin by winning the team competition. The Russians also started to collect their gold medals in synchro: they got the respective titles in duet and in team.
With two freshly crowned European champions in their line-up, the Netherlands started the 5km team event as the overwhelming favourites in Grünau: 10km gold medallists Sharon van Rouwendaal and Ferry Weertman were both at the start of the race, together with Marcel Shouten. However, the Greeks, the Germans, the Hungarians and the Italians all sent their best ones to the Long Lake to battle for the medals in the time trial.
The regatta course showed a bit darker face this time with the air being a bit cooler than the water. All teams applied the two men-one woman format – which is not always the case in this event – and the splits after 2500m promised a thrilling end as the third member of the Dutch, the Greek and the German team crossed the line inside a 3-second gap.
But the Dutch, already in the lead, managed to increase their speed and after clocking 27:59.9min in the first lap came home in 27:47.9, quite a devastating effort -which earned them a 17.7 advantage over the Greeks. Giannotis & Co. had an excellent race with two equally fine laps (28:01.8 and 28:03.7) and clinched the silver medal.
The battle for the bronze turned out to be a really close call: the Germans slowed down in the second part while the Hungarians produced the second-best split of the entire race (27:58.5) and almost caught the hosts but at last they were 1.2sec shy of reaching the podium.
In synchro the Russians did their job again. In the duet competition new pairs competed for the medals to bring some freshness to the pool. Daria Korobova and Svetlana Kolesnichenko did a great job, earned a couple of 9.9s for their free routine and won with a comfortable margin (6.1908 points). The Ukrainians managed to get ahead of the Spaniards for the first time: Lolita Ananasova and Anna Voloshyna were slightly better than the new line-up of Ona Carbonell and Paula Klamburg.
Press release from LEN
Images courtesy of deepbluemedia.eu