Under amazing circumstances, the open water swimmers’ 25-kilometer race at the European Championships in Rome ended prematurely, and in the end no results were announced.
The finish platform of the open water swimmers in their 25 kilometer race suspended due to adverse weather at the European Aquatic Championships in Rome in Ostia on August 20, 2022. MTI/Zsolt Czeglédi
The increasingly strong wind in the afternoon stirred huge waves on Ostia’s coast – because of this, the fights on Thursday and Friday were already postponed – which tossed the escort ships back and forth and also dismantled and moved the water unit serving as the target.
After a good three and a half hours of swimming, the news first spread in the press center that the competition had been cancelled, despite this, quite a few of them were still pacing in the water for a long time, and then they too swam out. There were those who crossed the finish line and hit the board “for sure”.
Among the four Hungarians, bronze medalist Péter Gálicz and Luca Vas came out of the water shortly before the chaotic scenes. Alongside them were Zalán Sárkány and Vivien Balogh in the field.
“This is a disaster, based on the radar they said the wind will decrease in the afternoon, that’s why we start at this time. In comparison, there was a moment when I thought I was going to die, in one situation five of us had to hold one of the boats so that it wouldn’t fall on us”
Vivien Balogh told Hungarian journalists in the mixed zone. When asked by MTI why he didn’t give up then, he answered extremely belligerently: “That’s not an option, I’m a fradist, always fight, never give up,” he quoted the motto of the green and whites. He added that they didn’t even know where they were, they told him about twenty minutes before the end that they were going to cancel the match, but they also received the official signal (crossed flag) only from the jet ski attendant, not from an official person.
Balogh stated that he certainly cannot rest, but he will be there on Sunday for 10 kilometers.
The 19-year-old Zalán Sárkány was in second place for part of the race, and he revealed another strange thing about the chaotic finish:
“Two laps before the end, two Italians swam in front of me, I think they knew that the race would be over and they didn’t come out to drink, so I didn’t either. Then they stopped where they had to according to the briefing before the race. After that, for some reason we still went on, I have no idea what happened.”
At first, the organizers only announced that the race had been stopped, and then they reported that the competitors had arrived safely ashore. Roughly three hours after the chaotic finish, it was officially announced that no results would be announced. There is no information about Sunday’s program yet.
According to the original scenario, the Olympic event, i.e. the 10-kilometer race, would be held on Sunday at 10 a.m., while the relay races would be held from 4 p.m.
Source: Propeller – Saját anyagok by propeller.hu.
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