Rachele Bruni maintained her fine form with a second straight win at the FINA/HOSA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup while Axel Reymond claimed gold in the men’s race in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Buoyed by her victory in last month’s opening leg in Viedma, Argentina, the Italian clocked 2:07:31.08 at the Corniche Breakwater. She finished ahead of China’s Yan Siyu (2:07:34.05) and 2008 silver Olympic medallist Keri-Ann Payne (02:07:37.04).
After 8km in windy conditions, Payne led the race with Bruni breathing down her neck. But ahead of the final lap, Bruni overtook the Briton and proved to be too strong for her rivals as she celebrated by pumping her fists in the air at the finish.
“It is always good to have a good result, especially in a World Cup and in such a good field,” said the 27-year-old, who will compete in the next leg in Cancun (Mexico) as she aims to qualify for July’s World Championships in Kazan.
“We had Poliana Okimoto in there; we had a lot of the Italians and Spanish as well. So it was great to come away with bronze.”
In the men’s event, Reymond later admitted he was surprised to win his first World Cup gold in the UAE capital.
"It was great to come away with bronze" - Payne
The 21-year-old Frenchman was not even in the top three after the 8km mark, but found his rhythm as the race went on. And with 200m to go, he went from strength to strength to clock 1:57:52.1.
Behind him, Britain’s Jack Burnell, Andreas Waschburger and Christian Reichert collected the silver and bronze medals respectively. In a thrilling finish, Burnell edged Reichert to claim silver by the slimmest of margins after a video replay as both crossed the finish line at 1:57:53.6.