Florian Wellbrock Completes German Sweep In The Open Water

After his teammate Leonie Beck swept the women’s 5 km and 10 km races, Florian Wellbrock expectedly repeated the German sweep on the men’s side with another dominant performance in the 5 km race at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan today.

Wellbrock and his two Italian rivals, Gregorio Paltrinieri and Domenico Acerenza, were so fast over the 5 km course that they all finish nearly a minute ahead of the second trailing pack.

Men’s 5 km Results – Top 25

  1. Florian Wellbrock, Germany 53:58.00
  2. Gregorio Paltrinieri, Italy 54:02.50
  3. Domenico Acerenza, Italy 54:04.20
  4. Oliver Klement, Germany 54:57.20
  5. David Betlehem, Hungary 54:58.60
  6. Athanasios Kynigakis, Greece 54:58.60
  7. Kristóf Rasovszky, Hungary 55:23.90
  8. Kyle Lee, Australia 55:32.70
  9. Logan Fontaine, France 55:33.00
  10. Sacha Kelly, France 55:33.10
  11. Mykhailo Romanchuk, Ukraine 55:37.00
  12. Carlos Garach Benito, Spain 56:14.70
  13. Jack Wilson, Australia 56:24.00
  14. Logan Vanhuys, Belgium 56:43.20
  15. Hector Thomas Cheal Pardoe, Great Britain 56:46.50
  16. Paulo Strehlke Delgado, Mexico 56:46.60
  17. Brennan Gravley, USA 56:48.50
  18. Christian Schreiber, Switzerland 56:48.90
  19. Esteban Enderica Salgado, Ecuador 56:49.50
  20. Martin Straka, Czech Republic 56:49.50
  21. Jan Hercog, Austria 56:52.00
  22. Ondrej Zach, Czech Republic 56:52.20
  23. Connor Buck, South Africa 56:52.40
  24. David Farinango, Ecuador 56:52.80
  25. Tamas Farkas, Serbia 56:53.50

Florian, who always appears cool, calm, and composed both in and out of the water, was complimentary of his German teammates when talking about Sunday’s 10 km race that served as the first Olympic 10K Marathon Swim qualification race, “The qualification for Paris for my third Olympic Games was really important. That was why every athlete was here to compete and every athlete tried to get the medals and tickets. I am also really proud Oli (Klemet) is also going to Paris with me. I am so proud of…Leonie (Beck) [who] did an amazing job yesterday and made her step to Paris. It is so nice to be a part of a really strong open water team.

Gregorio Paltrinieri commented on his swim with teammate Domenico Acerenza, nicknamed Mimmo, “We did something without even knowing. There wasn’t a strategy together, we just wanted to race better than the other day so my plan was to stay in the front of the race because the other day I was a little bit behind and I couldn’t do much. Basically, I tried to touch Florian’s feet every stroke, that was my plan. And Mimmo’s plan was probably the same so we tried to stay with him as long as we could. At some point, we thought about going one left and one right and put Florian in the middle but we couldn’t.”

11th place Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine, who did not compete in the 10 km race on Sunday, finished 11th and will also face off against Florian and Paltrinieri in the 800m and 1500m freestyle races in the pool next week.

26th place finisher Eric Hedlin of Canada took an elbow to his nose and said, “I was right with everyone, I felt really good and felt my legs were coming on. I got a great draft coming in just 200 meters to the finish and I got hit in the nose. I moved to the side, lost the draft completely and saw everyone go by.

Canadian teammate Benjamin Cote who finished 29th in only his second career open water race said, “[The 30°C temperature] kind of threw me off a little and it’s aggressive so I guess I’ve got to learn to get hit in the face a few times. I think I was maybe a little too cautious the second lap. I have no experience doing a 5 km so I didn’t really know exactly how to approach it, but I think being too relaxed caused me to fall behind the pack a bit and spend too much time trying to chase. I learned a few things – dealing with the salt water, the waves from the boats.”

With the cancellation of the 25 km marathon swim at the World Aquatics Championships, the only remaining open water swimming event is the 4×1500 four-person relay that will be held on Wednesday.

© 2023 Daily News of Open Water Swimming

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