Swimmers from Italy controlled operations in the first leg of the 2017 circuit of the FINA/HOSA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup, held in Patagones-Viedma (ARG), by taking gold and silver in both the menâ€™s and womenâ€™s race. On February 4, Federico Vanelli was the best among men, winning in 1h57m02s42, while Arianna Bridi was the fastest in the womenâ€™s field, touching home in 2h11m30s42.
While Vanelliâ€™s best result in 2016 had been a bronze medal (precisely in the inaugural race of the season, also in Viedma), his teammate Simone Ruffini was the winner of the overall series. This time in Argentina, he was second in a time of 1h57m32s30. The bronze medal went to Franceâ€™s David Aubry, in 1h58m25s36. It is the first medal at this level for the French athlete, who had made a single appearance in the 2016 circuit, at the Abu Dhabi race.
Still in the menâ€™s race, the best Argentinean of the field was Guillermo Bertola, fourth in 1h58m28s45, while well-known Allan do Carmo, from Brazil, had to content with the sixth place (1h58m33s67).
The womenâ€™s race was definitively harder to decide. If the triumph of Bridi â€“ who made a brilliant end of the season in 2016 with gold in Lac Megantic (CAN), silver in Hong Kong and bronze in Chunâ€™An (CHN) â€“ was clear, the fight for the silver was outstanding between her teammate Rachele Bruni and Brazilâ€™s Poliana Okimoto. At the end, and after checking the photo finish data, the two swimmers were declared second, in a time of 2h12m13s54. Curiously, the Italian star had been second at the Rio 2016 Olympics, while Okimoto was third in the Copacabana waters. Moreover, Bruni was the overall winner of the FINA/HOSA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup in 2016, while the Brazilian was the runner-up of the competition.
Ana Marcela Cunha, also from Brazil, finished fifth (2h12m18s11), while local star Cecilia Biagioli was only ninth (2h12m34m48).
38 swimmers (equalled distributed between men and women) took part in this initial leg in Argentina. The next stop of the FINA/HOSA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup will be in Abu Dhabi (UAE), on March 11, 2017.
Medallists in Patagones-Viedma (ARG):
1. Federico Vanelli (ITA), 1h57m02s42; 2. Simone Ruffini (ITA), 1h57m32s30; 3. David Aubry (FRA), 1h58m25s36
1. Arianna Bridi (ITA), 2h11m30s42; 2. Rachele Bruni (ITA), 2h12m13s54; 2. Poliana Okimoto (BRA), 2h12m13s54