Axel Reymond & Lea Boy Deliver Last Open Water Golds Of Europeans In Budapest To France & Germany Over 25km

2021-05-16 Reading Time: 3 minutes
Lea Boy, by DeepBlue Media, courtesy of LEN Aquatics

Axel Reymond, of France, and Lea Boy, of Germany, celebrated gold in the 25km battles that brought the open water events to a close at Lupa Beach north of the Hungarian capital today as the European Championships reached the half-way stage of the Bubble of Budapest.

Axel Reymond, by DeepBlue Media, courtesy of LEN Aquatics

As pool swimmers limbered up for action over seven days at the Duna Arena from tomorrow, Axel Reymond stopped the clock at 4 hours 35mins 59.8sec to retain the 25km crown he first claimed at Glasgow 2018. Matteo Furlan took silver for Italy 5.3sec behind Reymond, the bronze 1.1sec further adrift in the shape of Russian Kirill Abrosimov.

In the women’s race, Lea Boy dominated in 4:53:57.0, 1min 01.4 ahead of the battle for the minor spoils, which went to France’s Lara Grangeon in 4:54:58.4, 0.03sec ahead of Italy’s Barbara Pozzobon.

The entry was low, with 13 of the 15 men finishing and only 11 of the 15 women completing the course. They included medallist in the shorter distance events, Anna Olasz, of Hungary, and Oceane Cassignol, of France. The 25km is not an Olympic event: the Tokyo Games will stage the fourth 10km marathon in open water since the event was introduced at Beijing 2008.

Men’s 25km Top 6 Finishers:

 1 513 FRA FRA REYMOND Axel13 FEB 19944:35:59.8 
 2 512 ITA ITA FURLAN Matteo29 MAY 19894:36:05.15.3 
 3 514 RUS RUS ABROSIMOV Kirill22 NOV 19914:36:06.26.4 
 4 510 ITA ITA OCCHIPINTI Alessio26 MAR 19964:36:12.012.2 
 5 505 NED NED BOTTELIER Lars04 MAR 19974:36:17.918.1 
 6 502 ITA ITA RUFFINI Simone07 DEC 19894:36:18.118.3

Women’s 25km – Top 6 Finishers

 1 410GER GER BOY Lea24 JAN 20004:53:57.0 
 2 407 FRA FRA GRANGEON Lara21 SEP 19914:54:58.41:01.4 
 3 403 ITA ITA POZZOBON Barbara17 SEP 19934:54:58.71:01.7 
 4 404 HUN HUN SOMENEK ONON Kata30 SEP 19974:55:01.81:04.8 
 5 402 RUS RUS SOROKINA Ekaterina29 MAR 20014:57:05.73:08.7 
 6 401 GER GER LINKA Elea08 FEB 20014:57:07.63:10.6

Diving Draws To A Close With More Gold For Germany

Lena Hentschel and Tina Punzel, of Germany, claimed gold in the 3m Synchro Women Springboard Final at the Budapest Duna Arena as the diving events came to a c lose at the XXXV LEN European Aquatic Championships – Photo Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

In the Diving at the Duna Arena, the women’s 3m synchro final, Germany’s Lena Hentschel and Tina Punzel were shadowed all the way through the rounds by Elena Bertocchi and Chiara Pellacani. The Italians had a weaker second jump (44.40, each mark under 8.0) but they landed the highest scoring dive of the final in the fourth for 74.40 points and took the lead by 1.20. On the final dives, the German challengers had a higher DD (3.1 vs 3.0) for a slim 0.09 point advantage. For Punzel, gold was the cherry on the cake after she had taken five silver medals and a bronze in the event since 2014. The bronze was also decided by a tiny margin, 0.3 points, Russians Uliana Kliueva and Vitaliia Koroleva taking the prize ahead Great Britain’s Grace Reid and Katherine Torrence.

In the closing diving event of the championships, 10m highborn title-holder Oleksi Sereda scored three 10s to his opening dive but the two Russians Viktor Minibaev and Aleksandr Bondar and World champion Tom Daley were also judged to have merited three perfect marks in the opening round.

The second then divided the field, Sereda bowed out after a complete miss and Daley’s attempt was also mediocre while the Russians held on, both earning a couple of 10s. Bondar remained phenomenal, his consistency was simply amazing, after he got 10s for his first two dives, he deserved that again for this fifth one and all but two marks out of the 54 was 8.0 – all the others were 8.5 and higher. His 564.35 points in total is a fantastic result, though the Arena’s record still belongs to Daley, with 590 tallied at the 2017 World Championships in the same venue.

Daley bounced back with two magnificent attempts in the fourth and fifth, got seven more 10s (3 and 4 – had 10 altogether out of the 20 perfect marks the judges threw out this evening), his 109.15 pointer in the penultimate round was a class of its own. That decreased the gap to 16.45 points between him and Bondar but the Russian didn’t crack under pressure. Instead he offered another nearly perfect dive, his fifth over 90 points (and the sixth was 89.25) while Daley couldn’t maintain his level from the previous rounds but at least clinched the silver by 3.35 points ahead of Minibaev. The Brit produced three of the four highest scoring dives in the final but lacked the balance what Bondar showed throughout the evening.

All of that added upon to Russia lifting the Team Trophy ahead of Germany and Great Britain. The Russians will be at the Tokyo Olympic Games but will be unable to fly their national flag and must compete under the neutral banner of the IOC at a time when their country is serving a blanket penalty over the manipulation of anti-doping data that had been requested by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as part of its investigation into systematic cheating by Russian sports authorities, some of which was covered up by the watchdogs supposedly in place to prevent such things from happening.

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