SWIMMING: Bridi outlasts Cunha again in Seychelles Marathon World Series

The idyllic scene for the FINA Marathon Swim Series in the Seychelles. (Photo: FINA)

A strong turnout of 75 swimmers from 19 countries came to the exotic location of The Seychelles off the African coast for the second of nine stages of the 2019 FINA Marathon World Series. While the men’s race had plenty of twists and turns, the women’s race was a re-run of 2018.

The six-lap race started slowly, but by the fifth lap, the speed was increasing with two-time World Champion Aurelie Muller (FRA), Olympic silver medalist Rachele Bruni, 2017 World Series winner Arianna Bridi and four-time Series winner Ana Marcela Cunha pressing the pace.

On lap six, Cunha attacked with 500 m remaining before the finish and only Bridi went with her and out-touched her for a 2/10ths-of-a-second victory. It was the same 1-2 finish as in the 2018 race at the Seychelles.

France’s Lara Grangeon came up for third and won her first career World Series medal.

The men’s race featured a strong pace from 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Marc-Antoine Olivier, but he was under pressure from a line of swimmers. As the finish neared, the sprint for the touch was won by Olivier, but with three more right behind, finishing within three more seconds. Australia’s Nicholas Sloman got to the line second, just ahead of Hungary’s Kristof Rasovszky.

Olivier said afterwards, “It was difficult with the hot weather; I’m very happy to win. At the finish, I was thinking about my last heat swimming a 100 m race and think about the pain in that race. The Seychelles is beautiful and yesterday I enjoyed myself swimming in the sea with many fish.”

Ah, the life of an open water swimmer! Summaries:

FINA Marathon World Series
Seychelles ~ 12 May 2019
(Full results here)

Men (10 km): 1. Marc-Antoine Olivier (FRA), 1:56:02:00; 2. Nicholas Sloman (AUS), 1:56:04.10; 3. Kristof Rasovszky (HUN), 1:56:04.30; 4. Ferry Weertman (NED), 1:56:04.80; 5. Bailey Armstrong (AUS), 1:56:14.10; 6. Kai Graeme Edwards (AUS), 1:56:24.70; 7. Hayden Paul Cotter (AUS), 1:56:29.70; 8. Matteo Furlan (ITA), 1:56:33.20; 9. Yuval Safra (ISR), 1:56:38.70; 10. Evgenii Drattcev (RUS), 1:56:59.60.

Women (10 km): 1. Arianna Bridi (ITA), 2:01:33.90; 2. Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA), 2:01:34.10; 3. Lara Grangeon (FRA), 2:01:41.10; 4. Rachele Bruni (ITA), 2:01:41.70; 5. Aurlie Muller (FRA), 2:01:44.40; 6. Kareena Lee (AUS), 2:01:55.70; 7. Angelica Andre (POR), 2:01:57.00; 8. Chelsea Gubecka (AUS), 2:01:57.10; 9. Anna Olasz (HUN), 2:01:57.50; 10. Mackenzie Brazier (AUS), 2:01:57.90.