5km Team Event – Third Team gold for Italy / Silver and bronze for Greece and Germany

Piombino (pps) Same team, same result: top favourite and defending champion Italy won the 5km Team Event at the 2012 European Open Water Swimming Championships in Piombino on Friday, clocking 59min04.2sec and thus repeating their success in Eilat in 2011. Silver and bronze in the race that had to be postponed Thursday due to adverse weather and sea conditions went to the teams from Greece (59min57.1sec) and Germany (1h00min42.5sec). Italy dominated the race and finished with a clear lead of 52 seconds ahead of the Greek team that came second and 45 seconds ahead of the Germans.

As in 2011, fourth position was for Russia with Evgeny Drattsev, Daniil Serebrennikov and the “young talent” Anastasia Krapivina, who recently earned the 7,5km title at the European Junior Open Water Swimming Championships in July. 2011 bronze medallist France failed to repeat the surprise from last year, earning a fifth-place finish.

After the rough weather conditions that caused the cancellation of the race on Thursday, the sea was calm and warm (26 degrees), although the temperature outside was colder (16 degrees). The Italian team was the last to depart from the starting bridge, but they immediately set out with a very strong pace. At half course they already had a winning margin of 40 seconds. A total of ten teams – three more than in Eilat last year – competed in the race that was held in a time-trial format.

Italy with exactly the same “crew” that achieved the title last year

The Italian team, European Champion for the third time after 2008 and 2011, proved to be well tuned to each other. The 5km European Champions Luca Ferretti (2010), Rachele Bruni and Simone Ercoli (2011) showed a strong performance. “We wanted to confirm our gold medal from Eilat and we made it! We have been swimming together for so long now, we really are a great team. Now we have to concentrate on the individual 5km races tomorrow”, disclosed Simone Ercoli. His compatriot Rachele Bruni added. “I’m so happy with this second gold in a row in the Team Event. Simone gave us the best direction, while Luca helped me to keep the right pace.” The “Italian party” was highlighted by one fact: all three of them come from Tuscany.

Greece, title winner in 2010, finished second. “This has been one of my best performances so far. It’s my second medal in the Team Event and I’m still very young. We are a great team and I’m so happy”, said Kalliopi Araouzou, who finished seventh in the 10km on Wednesday and is – besides Bruni – one of the favourites in the 5km race on Saturday. “It was an amazing race. The water wasn’t cold and the weather just fine. We prepared very hard and we made it. That’s what I’d expected”, her compatriot Marios Kalafatis added.

Germany competed with record World Champion Thomas Lurz, who had an unexpected performance or “dissonant upbeat” in his 10km race finishing in tenth place, “Grande Dame” Angela Maurer and Andreas Waschburger, who had both won silver on the opening Wednesday. ”We are very happy with the bronze medal. It was impossible to reach silver today as the Greeks were too far from us”, disclosed Waschburger.

Statistics – all results at a glance

Men’s 10km
1. Kirill Abrosimov / RUS / 1h57min46.8sec
2. Andreas Waschburger / GER / 1h57min48.2sec
3. Nicola Bolzonello / ITA / 1h57min54.0sec

Women’s 10km
1. Martina Grimaldi / ITA / 2h12min23.3sec
2. Angela Maurer / GER / 2h12min24.7sec
3. Jana Pechanova / CZE / 2h12min26.1sec

Team Event 5km
1. Italy / 0h59min04.2sec
2. Greece / 0h59min57.1sec
3. Germany / 1h00min42.5sec

Medal Table (after 2nd Competition Day)

Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1. Italy 2 0 1 3
2. Russia 1 0 0 1
3. Germany 0 2 1 3
4. Greece 0 1 0 1
5. Czech Republic 0 0 1 1
3 3 3 9


Saturday, September 15:
10.00 hrs: 5km Men (Time Trial)
13.30 hrs: 5km Women (Time Trial)

Sunday, September 16:
09:00 hrs: 25km Men
09:15 hrs: 25km Women


For more information: www.len.eu and www.piombino2012.com
All results: www.omegatiming.com
Contact Organising Committee/Media: media@piombino2012.com