The Netherlands made it two: just as in the womenâ€™s 10km event, a Dutch triumphed in the menâ€™s classic distance, Ferry Weertman won a magnificent race. The womenâ€™s 5km time trial brought the first gold medal for the hosts, Isabelle Harle won by a huge margin. In synchro, Russia is on the verge to collect the golds in duet and team.
After the evening rains, glorious sunshine welcomed back the competitors of the menâ€™s 10km event in Grunau â€“ and in the perfect conditions they produced a brilliant race on the regatta course again.
For three rounds Hungaryâ€™s Gergely Gyurta â€“ little bro of the breaststroker ace Daniel â€“ led the pack but during the last lap he started to fade while the â€˜big gunsâ€™ began to rule. With 2km to go local hero Thomas Lurz switched speed, it was the 6th and for a while it seemed to be a winning tactic gear as the rivals, Frenchman Alex Meyer and Greeceâ€™s Spyridon Gianniotis fell behind. However, there was one man who could keep up with the German, Ferry Weertman of the Netherlands and when they reached the last turns, the Dutch was clearly fresher and stronger. He managed to pass Lurz and swum away in the last hundred metres, the Iron Man came second while Russiaâ€™s Evgeny Drattsev could leave the pack behind to clinch the bronze.
In the womenâ€™s 5km event the time trial format secured a calmer hour for the supporters, though the local enthusiasts created some noise when Isabelle Harle (GER) appeared first on the screen at the half-way check point. And she managed to keep her substantial lead till the end, she was the only one coming inside 58min and won by a huge, 34.2sec margin. The silver went to Sharon van Rouwendaal (NED), winner of the 10km on the opening day, while the bronze was clinched by Mireia Belmonte, the Spanish pool distance swimmer whose first â€˜excursionâ€™ to open water was a great success.
The day also saw a special award ceremony: Europeâ€™s two best open water swimmers of 2013 â€“ elected by the LEN Family â€“, Thomas Lurz and Martina Grimaldi (ITA) received the prestigious LEN Award on site from LEN General Secretary David Sparkes.
Press release from LEN
Gallery images courtesy of deepbluemedia.eu