The French team of Aurelie Muller, Lisa Pou, David Aubry and Marc-Antoine Olivier scored the victory in Eilat, Israel on the first day of the last stop of the FINA Marathon World Series. In the six-team race, Muller jumped out to the lead on the opening leg, going toe to toe the first 1500 meters with Italians Rachele Bruni and Baraba Pozzobon, with Muller swimming a 17:28.30 to Bruni’s 17:28.80 and Pozzobon’s 17:29.20.

The Australians, led off by Bianca Crisp (17:32.50), jumped to the lead on the second leg with Chelsea Gubecka grabbing a two second lead over Italians Martina De Memme and Ginevra Taddeucci. The French team with Pou had fallen back nearly six seconds behind the Aussies.

It was France’s male duo of Aubry and Olivier that helped grab the lead back and hang on to it as Aubry pulled closer to Italy’s Dario Verani and Andrea Manzi on the third leg with Australia’s Kyle Lee in tow. Aubry had climbed back to be within two seconds of the leaders at the end of his leg, but it appeared with the great Gregorio Paltrinieri anchoring that the rest of the countries stood no chance.

But Olivier and Australia’s Nicolas Sloman turned on the jets on the last leg, out-sprinting Paltrinieri on the final straightaway, taking advantage of his weaknesses. Olivier got the touch at the end of the 4x1500 at 1:06:35.40 to Sloman’s 1:06:36.60 and Paltrinieri’s 1:06:37.00. The second Italian team, finished by Domenico Acerenza, was fourth at 1:06:39.50.

The individual 10K races will begin on Saturday with the men’s race happening before the women’s race. To read up on the individual matchups, check out our preview here.