Rachele Bruni of Italy handily won the women's 5K in 58:50.7 in the new racing fomat at the European Open Water Championships over Germany's Britta Kamrau-Corestein (59:16.1) and Italy's Alice Franco (59:30.0).
The 17-year-old Bruni is a 2-time European junior bronze medallist (in 2007 and 2008). "I was confident to finish among the top six. We have especially trained for this event. I especially prepared for this time trial event. We trained three times a week in the sea, each swimmer on his own. I was confident that I would finish among the top six."
Silver medalist Britta Kamrau-Corestein was also pleased with the new system where swimmers start one minute apart. "It was a lot of fun. The time trial is still a bit unusual, but it was a lot of fun and finished with a great success for me at my first ever participation in such a racing system. I was positively excited before the race, and the waiting for the others to finish also was nerve-racking. I could hardly see anything swimming against the sun on the first 2.5K to the turning buoy. But by then I had already caught up with Nadine Pastor who then supported me on the last leg to the finish."
The 35-year-old Edith van Dijk finished fourth in 1:00:7.3 and announced her retirement from the elite racing. "These Championships are definitely my last. I’ll retire from high-performance sport after Dubrovnik."
Because the swimmers started separately, aggressive pack swimming was not an issue. "This is a fantastic start to these European Championships for Italy. I like this new time trial format very much, because you are swimming alone and have to do your own race and to decide the correct route by yourself," said bronze medalist Franco.
Upper photo of Alice Franco (left) and Rachele Bruni (right) taken by Giorgio Scala of Deepbluemedia.
Lower photo of Jana Pechanova of the Czech Republic as she dives into the Old Harbor of Dubrovnik taken by Giorgio Scala of Deepbluemedia.