Angela Maurer (GER) added another 25km gold to her FINA World Championship collection winning the 25km at Ostia Beach. She now has eight medals from various FINA Championships – 4 bronze, 2 silver, and 2 gold. Maurer touched home in 5h 47m 48s, with silver medallist Anna Uvarova (RUS) finishing in 5h 47m 51s, and Federica Vitale (ITA) taking bronze in 5h 47m 52s.
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Maurer explained: “My goal in Rome was a medal and I got gold,” noting that “with waves it is important to swim in the lead”, and that although she likes the heat and the waves “today there was a little too much”.
Commenting on the course conditions and her srint to the finish, Uvarova added: “It was very difficult because of the sea. It was really wavy…In the last lap I sped up, I swam very fast. When I realised I was third, I aimed at reaching the Italian girl (Vitale) and I managed to overtake her.”
After 1h 50m of swimming, Uvarova, Natalya Pankina (RUS), Kate Brookes-Peterson (AUS), and Martina Grimaldi (ITA) were sharing the lead. As the competitors finished their sixth of ten laps (3h 30m in) the situation remained unchanged although by then Zaira Cardenas (MEX) retired with serious jellyfish stings, as did Brookes-Peterson, suffering from dehydration and exhaustion.
After the 7th lap, Vitale started to make her move towards the lead, and Margarita Dominguez (ESP) regularly applied pressure.
With 1500m left to go, Dominguez, Maurer and Grimaldi were battling for podium places and in a very close, fast finish Maurer’s experience gave her the edge to become World Champion once again.
Valerio Cleri gave Italy its first gold medal at these World Championships in 5h 26m 31s. Silver went to Australia’s Trent Grimsey in 5h 26m 50s, and Vladimir Dyatchin (RUS) secured bronze in 5h 29m 29s. Race conditions over the 10 laps of 2.5km were choppy, with large waves and relatively high winds.
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Cleri had finished a disappointing fourth in the 10km event but was delighted to earned his medal in front of a joyous crowd of home supporters lining the beach to cheer him to the finish, emerging from the water and taking a small bow.
Cleri moved to the head of the pack early and more or less stayed there until the end, although there was some rotation in the leadership in the opening stages of the distance.
After 3h 50m of racing – at the conclusion of the 7th lap – Simon Tobin (CAN) took a turn in the lead, but Cleri, in second and Bryan Ryckeman (BEL), were never far away. Soon, they both moved back into the lead for a time before Bertrand Venturi (FRA) overtook them at the conclusion of the 8th lap. Grimsey made his move entering the final lap and settled into second place. By that time Dyatchin had also emerged among the leaders, bumping Ryckeman to 4th.
Approaching the finish the wider pack dispersed as the waves, heat and distance took their toll. Cleri increased his lead over the last 600m.
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