At the European Swimming Championships, these athletes ran miles for nothing

VINCENZO PINTO / AFP Italy’s Dario Verani (L) reacts after competing in the Open Water Mixed 25km event, on August 20, 2022 at Lido di Ostia, southwest of Rome, during the LEN European Aquatics Championships. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)

VINCENZO PINTO / AFP

2022 European Swimming Championships: the 25 kilometers in open water stopped in confusion

SPORT – The women’s and men’s 25 km open water races were stopped and then canceled on Saturday in Ostia, on the outskirts of Rome, during the European Swimming Championships, due to difficult weather conditions, announced the European League of swimming.

After more than 3h30 of racing, “Due to the weather conditions, the judges and the safety manager have decided to immediately stop the races to protect the athletes and officials” the league said in a statement released Saturday night.

Already postponed for the first time due to the weather, the 25 km races were finally canceled, “judges cannot establish final rankings”said the league press release.

She apologizes to swimmers “who have worked hard to be ready for this event”.

“We did not have any information”

All the swimmers would not have been notified at the same time of the stoppage of the races, creating a very confusing situation.

“We witnessed that the race stopped but we had no information, lamented Julien Issoulié, national technical director of the French swimming team to AFP. The rule is that if the swell is too big, the organizers must inform the coaches, except that is not at all what happened. »

Several swimmers headed for the finish plate, as is the case when a race is cut short, while others stopped.

Usually, the organizers warn the coaches, who pass on the information to the swimmers. Swimmers are then asked to complete a final lap before reaching the finish plate.

“I was on the eleventh lap when a scooter came in front of me and said ‘stop, it’s over, the race is over’,” said Frenchman Axel Reymond at the microphone of France Télévisions, broadcaster European Games. I don’t understand anything because I was a little on my own, in the waves it was fine, I was fine, and I was starting to catch up with people. And then I turn to the buoy, I no longer see anyone, and a scooter tells me to stop. »

The situation immediately made the double world champion of the 10 km in open water Aurélie Muller react. “Another great promotion of our sport. Comedy Of The Art »wrote the Frenchwoman on Twitter.

Saturday morning, still in Ostia, she finished 6th in the 5 km, in a race won by the Dutch, Sharon Van Rouwendaal, ahead of the Spaniard Maria de Valdes and the Italian Giulia Gabbrielleschi.

On the men’s side, Frenchman Marc-Antoine Olivier won bronze, Italians Gregorio Paltrinieri and Domenico Acerenza winning respectively gold and silver in the 5 km.

The 10 km events as well as the 4×1250 m relays (at 4 p.m.) men and women are still scheduled for Sunday (at 10 a.m.) in Ostia, announces the League, “except in extreme weather conditions”which could cause their postponement or cancellation.


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