Gregorio Paltrinieri, Domenico Acerenza Go 1-2 in the LEN European Championship 5 km Race

Gregorio Paltrinieri, Domenico Acerenza Go 1-2 in the LEN European Championship 5 km Race

When Gregorio Paltrinieri takes off in the open water, it is nearly impossible to catch him. But his Italian teammate Domenico Acerenza kept it close and finished second behind the multiple world and Olympic champion at the 2022 LEN European Championships in Ostia, Italy.

After rough conditions on Friday caused cancellations, the men’s and women’s 5 km races were able to be held, but the chief referees and the safety delegate for both the men’s and women’s 25 km races decided to stop the afternoon 25 km races for the safety of the athletes and officials on the course. LEN announced, “Since the Chief Referees did not have a view of the final rankings for both races, the LEN Technical Open Water Committee decided to cancel the classification for both races. LEN owes an apology to all athletes participating this race, who devoted themselves to hard work to be ready for this event, for not being in a position to determine the final classification, even though the event was held amid these extreme conditions.”

Sunday’s revised schedule will showcase the men’s and women’s 10 km race at 10 am and the 5 km Team Relay at 4 pm.

Paltrinieri and all the competitors can be seen in the live stream here. For more event information, visit here.

Men’s 5 km Results:

  1. Gregorio Paltrinieri, Italy 52:13.5
  2. Domenico Acerenza, Italy 52:14.2
  3. Marc-Antoine Olivier, France 52:20.8
  4. Logan Fontaine, France 52:21.3
  5. Oliver Klemet, Germany 52:33.7
  6. Kristof Rasovszky, Hungary 52:34.0
  7. David Betlehem, Hungary 52:34.6
  8. Marcello Guidi, Italy 52:44.0
  9. Carlos Garach Benito, Spain 53:34.8
  10. Tamas Farkas, Serbia 53:37.1
  11. Linus Schwedler, Germany 54:17.2
  12. Diogo Cardoso, Portugal 54:38.1
  13. Guillem Pujol Belmonte, Spain 55:07.7
  14. Ondrej Zach, Czech Republic 55:08.8
  15. Ziv Cohen, Israel 56:35.1
  16. Tomas Chocholaty, Czech Republic 56:37.9
  17. Joseph Deighan, Great Britain 56:40.9
  18. Konstantinos Zachariadis, Greece 56:44.1
  19. Theo Peciar, Slovakia DSQ
  20. Yonatan Ahdut, Israel DSQ

The men in the 25 km race included Matej Kozubek and Martin Straka of the Czech Republic, Axel Reymond, Matthieu Magne, and Alexandre Verplaetse of France, Andreas Waschburger and Ben Langner of Germany, Marcel Schouten and Lars Bottelier of the Netherlands, Dario Verani, Matteo Furlan and Mario Sanzullo of Italy, and Zalan Sarkany and Peter Galicz of Hungary.

A third-party perspective on the officiating outcome of the 25 km race is here.

German Olympic marathon swimmer Andreas Waschburger was in the 25 km race. This is his perspective, “[There were] no placement, no medals and no award ceremony at the European Championships over [the 25 km race]. After a lot of uncertainties ahead of time regarding our race due to the weather conditions and the strong waves, the race ended in a big disappointment for all of us on Saturday.

After 18 km, the race suddenly ended and everyone was confused about this abrupt cancellation of the race. Because not everyone had this information. Both in the water and on land, there was first complete chaos and irritation. At times athletes swam another round because they did not receive this important information.

At the same time, unfortunately, it seems that local athletes here would have been better informed and much earlier. Already two rounds before [aborting], they stopped catering and sat down to three. In a 25 km race, after 15 km, already skipping food and leading at such a high pace is very unusual and tactically impossible to keep up. It is human to make the best of oneself in such a situation. But it’s not ok in sports that some people have a leap of information or – having a nightmare. The main problem was simply the lack of communication with all swimmers that we were going to the final round.

After numerous protests from different nations, the LEN made the decision to [not offer] an official result.

I’m obviously very disappointed.

Months of preparing for nothing.

Personally, I cannot understand the cancellation of the race either. I always ask myself, why couldn’t we keep swimming? I like such wavy conditions, they [suit] me well with my years of open water experience. In my opinion, it would have been still possible to swim to the end of the race. Clearly the conditions were very rough on that day due to the very high waves. But wind and waves are part of open water swimming, our sport. We don’t always have to swim in a calm river or lake, where the conditions are mostly the same as in a swimming pool. I [had not] seen an immediate danger for us athletes.

But you can’t change it anymore.

Now that this is the second European Championship that has been taken away from me by “higher violence”, I am happy that I only have 3 weeks of training break and vacation. Nevertheless, of course, it was again a nice experience to have been there at the event.

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Steven Munatones