Wellbrock edges Olivier to win men’s 10km race at world championships - GulfToday

Wellbrock edges Olivier to win men’s 10km race at world championships


Florian Wellbrock stands with his medal after winning the men’s 10km open water swim at the World Swimming Championships in Yeosu on Tuesday. Associated Press

After 10 kilometers of open-water swimming in the sea and  world championship organizers needed a photo finish to determine the winner of the Olympic qualifier on Tuesday.

Florian Wellbrock of Germany edged France’s Marc-Antoine Olivier by two-tenths of a second to take the gold medal. The 21-year-old Wellbrock finished in 1 hour, 47 minutes, 55.90 seconds, shading Olivier at the finish. Another German swimmer, Rob Muffels, earned bronze in 1:47.57.40.

Wellbrook and Olivier were locked in a two-man race for the gold medal in a final 200-meter sprint to the finish line. The group in close pursuit included Muffels, who used his experience to emerge from that tight bunch to finish third.

Wellbrook was the race and pace leader for much of the event. The few times that he was not leading he was in the top three and dropped back to sixth only briefly to conserve his energy for the final sprint.

“I believe that working together with Rob and also training at altitude helped both of us,” Wellbrock said.

Wellbrock said he plans to also swim in two pool events at Tokyo, including the 1,500-meter race.

Hungarian swimmer Kristof Rasovszky, who won the 5-kilometer race on Saturday, was fourth in 1:47.59.50 and American Jordan Wilimovsky, who won silver at the last world titles, was fifth in a time of 1:48.01.00. The top 10 finishers in the race earned spots for their countries in next year’s 10-kilometer race at the Tokyo Olympics.

Defending world and Olympic champion Ferry Weertman of the Netherlands faded to seventh, six seconds behind Wellbrock, but will still have a chance to defend a title next year in Tokyo.

Earlier, Chinese diver Chen Aisen won his third straight world championship title by partnering with Cao Yuan in the men’s 10-meter platform synchronized diving event on Monday.

China took its overall tally at these swimming world championships to seven golds in the diving events as Wang Han and Shi Tingmao finished first in the women’s 3-meter springboard synchronized event. Chen and Cao earned 486.93 points to beat silver medalists Aleksandr Bondar and Viktor Minibaev of Russia, who finished with 444.60. Tom Daley and Matty Lee of Britain took bronze with 425.91 points.

Meanwhile, Wang and Shi dived flawlessly to win the women’s event with 342.00 points.

Melissa Citrini Beaulieu and Jennifer Abel of Canada won silver with 311.10 points while Paola Espinosa Sanchez and Melany Hernandez Torres of Mexico took bronze with 294.90.

Agence France-Presse

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