Fresh from Budapest, Brazil’s Cunha and Italy’s Paltrinieri are set to defend their No.1 FINA World Series Rankings in Paris
The next stage of the FINA Marathon Swim World Series 2022 is headed to Paris, the host of the 2024 Olympic Games. The best open water swimmers will race in Parc de la Villette, the largest urban cultural park in the French capital.
Parc de la Villette History Tour
Originally, this location was the site of the La Villette slaughterhouses created by order of French Monarch Napoleon Bonaparte in 1867. Once known as the La Villette Livestock Market, it featured the once-famous Parisian slaughterhouses and was a mecca of Parisian food and culture until the area was decommissioned in 1974.
From the Porte de la Villette in the north to the Porte de Pantin in the south, the Canal de l'Ourcq crosses it in the middle. Two footbridges span the canal and link north and south. Since 2008, a mobile floating bridge has been installed in summer, halfway between these two footbridges, and facilitates the passage of walkers, cyclists and people with reduced mobility.
The Canal de l’Ourc crossing has been selected as a perfect spot to host this second Marathon 10km competition. The park is not far from the Paris 2024 Olympic Aquatics Centre.
The French Swimming Federation is excited to welcome and to host all the teams to this key race that will give athletes a taste of what will be the Summer Games in The Olympic City.
The Women and Men 10km Competition will be organized on a 2000m course where all swimmers must complete 5 laps. For the 6km Team Relay, the same circuit will be used but on a 1500m course and each team will be manned by two female and two male swimmers, the order determined by each national federation.
The open water athletes, surely fatigued from the gruelling schedule of three races over four days of competition at Lupa Lake should be rejuvenated and ready for racing with over a week since the last competition in Budapest.
With the Paris events taking place from 9-10 July here are some “the usual suspects” to key an eye on:
WOMEN TO WATCH IN PARIS
Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) won the first edition of the 10km World Series event in Setubal and was golden in the 5km and 25km events in Budapest. The reigning Olympic Marathon 10km champion from the Tokyo 2020 Games finished third in the latest world championship 10km held on 30 June 2022.
The BIG STORY IN BUDAPEST was Cunha winning her 5th world championship title in the 25km and the addition of her 12th, 13th and 14th world championship medals. This unprecedented open water medal haul also includes seven FINA World Championship gold medals in her trophy case.
Sharon van Rouwendaal (NED) the silver medallist from the 10km event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games also has a gold medal from the Rio 2016 Games in the same event as part of her open water accolades. At the 2022 FINA World Championships, van Rouwendaal was a multi-medallist, winning the 10km and placing third in the 25km event. She comes into Paris with a second-place finish from the first leg of the World Series 10km in Setubal.
Aurelie Muller (FRA) finished second in the Budapest 2022 5km race and claimed her fourth silver medal in open water world championships (2011, 2017, 2019 and 2022). Muller has two world titles, having won the 10km in both the Kazan 2015 and Budapest 2017 editions of the FINA World Championships. An experienced competitor, Muller finished 21st in the inaugural Olympic Marathon 10km at the Beijing 2008 Games. At the Rio 2016 Olympics, she arrived second at the finish pontoon but was disqualified for impeding the progress of another swimmer who was declared the Olympic silver medalist. At the 2017 FINA World Championships, Muller was a member of France’s gold-medal-winning Mixed 5km Relay.
Leonie Beck (GER) finished second in Budapest in the 10km event and was a member of Germany's gold medal Mixed 4x1500m Relay. Beck placed fifth in the Setubal edition of the Marathon 10km world series, where just tenths of a second separated the second-to-seventh place position. At the 18th FINA World Championships, she tied for third in the 5km in Gwangju, South Korea.
MEN TO WATCH IN PARIS
Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) won the men’s 10km just four days after he challenged the 1500m world record in the Duna Area pool. The Italian swimmer anchored the Mixed 4x1500m to bronze at Lupa Lake less than 24 hours from his brilliant swim in the longest pool event – one that earned Paltrinieri the FINA World Championship and European record in the event.
Paltrinieri became the second swimmer to win the 10km and the 1500m freestyle event in the same edition of the FINA world championship after Germany’s Florian Wellbrock won both titles in South Korea in 2019. Paltrinieri comes into Paris leading the FINA World Series rankings following his win in the first 10km event in Setubal.
Domenico Acerenza (ITA) was part of Italy’s 1-2 domination of the 10km in Budapest as Acerenza finished closely behind his training partner Paltrinieri, which matched the Italian duos’ podium places from the first leg of the World Series in Setubal. Acerenza was also part of Italy’s quartet that won bronze in the Mixed 4x1500m Relay in Budapest. This adds to the silver he won as part of the Mixed 5km Relay at the 2019 FINA World Championships, his first major international medal. Acerenza also has a 9th place finish in the 1500m freestyle from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Axel Reymond (FRA) won the 25km event held at Lake Balaton and became the first French world champion in this distance. He repeated as the FINA World Champion two years later at the Yeosu Expo Ocean Park during the Gwangju 2019 worlds. Reymond won three European titles (2014, 2016, 2020) in the 25km distance as well as one bronze in the 2012 edition. During the 25km event Budapest 2022 the French swimmer was overtaken by Italian swimmer Dario Verani in the last 50m sprint to the finish, collecting a silver medal.
Logan Fontaine (FRA) was a silver medalist in the 5km event at the Gwangju 2019 world champs. At the 2017 Budapest edition of the FINA World Championships, he was a member of France’s gold medal Mixed 5km Relay that included Océane Cassignol, Marc-Antoine Olivier and Aurelie Muller.
Marc-Antoine Olivier (FRA) is the 2016 bronze medalist in the Olympic Marathon 10km at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. At the Budapest 2017 edition of the FINA World Championships, he won the 5km event, finished third in the 10km, and earned another gold as member of France’s Mixed 5km Relay quartet. Olivier also earned the silver medal in the 10km during the Gwangju 2019 world championships. Born in Denain, he is a still a member of the Denain Natation Porte Du Hainaut Swim Club.
ITALY - The Italian team in Budapest were the overwhelming winners of the FINA Open Water World Championship Trophy scoring 134 points, 15 more than second place Germany. The winner of the 25km Dario Verani is a training partner of Paltrinieri and Acerenza who finished first and second in the Marathon 10km distance at Lupa Lake. Giulia Gabbrielleschi and Ginevra Taddeucci were members of the bronze medal Mixed 4x1500 relay. Gabbrielleschi and Taddeucci were 4th and 6th in the first leg of the 10km world series. Italian men dominated the results of the Setubal edition of the 10km with the 1-2 finish by Paltrinieri and Acerenza; a total of 7 finished in the top 10.
GERMANY - The German team won the Mixed 4x1500m Relay 4x1500m event, with multiple Olympic and FINA World Championship titlist Florian Wellbrock anchoring the relay in Budapest. While the reigning Olympic 10km champion from the Tokyo 2020 Games doesn’t look to race in Paris, Germany still have the speed and depth to factor prominently in the outcome of this weekend’s relay event.
Case in point: Two other German swimmers were members of the winning relay at the Budapest 2022 worlds and earned individual silver medals: Leonie Beck finished second in the women’s 10km and Lea Boy finished second in the women’s 25km.
HUNGARY - The host nation of the 19th FINA World Championships finished second in the Mixed 4x1500 Relay. Individually, Peter Galicz also earned bronze in the 25km at Lupa Lake. The Hungary contingent is anchored by Kristof Rasovszky. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic 10km silver medallist placed third in the Setubal 10km World Series opener where teammate David Betlehem finished seventh.
USA - 16-year-old Katie Grimes is the American to keep an eye on. In addition to winning two silver medals in the pool in Budapest, she was fifth in the FINA World Championship 10km in Budapest and eighth in Setubal.
For an overview of the FINA Swim Marathon World Series 2022 visit HERE.
For the current World Series 2022 Rankings visit HERE.