SWIMMING: Rasovszky finally wins at Lake Balaton; so does Cunha, again!

Brazil's open-water star Ana Marcela Cunha (Photo: FINA/Istvan Derencsenyi)

Local fans who came out to see Hungary’s open-water star Kristof Rasovszky finally got to see him realize a long-held goal: to win a FINA Marathon World Series race on his home course at Lake Balaton.

He went out hard on the 2,500 m loop course, then eased back to among the leaders before unleashing a fearsome final kick that left him more than six second clear on the final, 400 m finish straight. He finished in 1:50.12.7, leaving 2016 Olympic champ Ferry Weertman well back in 1:50:19.2. It’s Rasovszky’s third medal in four World Series races this year.

“Everything went according to my plans, even the other guys helped somewhat” Rasovszky said. “I swam ahead at the beginning to set the pace and found out the others tried to follow me which was good news since my race tactics were tailored for me and actually no one wanted to challenge this. So when I geared up for the finish no one could come with me.”

In the women’s race, Brazil’s unstoppable Ana Marcela Cunha was again at Lake Balaton, defending her 2018 victory, but by less than a second over perennial rival Arianna Bridi of Italy with German Leonie Beck a close third.

No one was able to build much of a lead, so the race came down to the final sprint, and Cunha got to the tough first for her third win in the four races held so far this year.

“This was all good once more, I’m happy” Cunha said afterwards. “I tried to set the pace but stay patient at the end. I’m more used to swim 25 km, but as we say with our coach, in the 10 km, towards the finish you need to be more European. In South America, it’s in your blood to go with emotions in the finish, but in the 10 km you need to be cool and professional and I just managed to do that.”

The Marathon World Series takes a break now until July and will resume after the FINA World Championships. Summaries:

FINA Marathon Swimming World Series
Balatonfured (HUN) ~ 15 June 2019
(Full results here)

Men/10 km: 1. Kristof Rasovszky (HUN), 1:50:12.7; 2. Ferry Weertman (NED), 1:50:19.2; 3. Soren Meissner (GER), 1:50:22.5.

Women/10 km: 1. Ana Marcela Cunha, (BRA) 1:58:45.4; 2. Arianna Bridi (ITA), 1:58:46.2;
3. Leonie Beck (GER), 1:58:46.8.