Acerenza Upsets, Rasovszky Triumphs in World Cup


Domenico Acerenza Springs 10K Upset; Rasovszky Clinches Open Water Swimming World Cup Title

In a surprising turn of events at the final stop of the World Aquatics Open Water Swimming World Cup 2023, Italian swimmer Domenico Acerenza emerged victorious in the men’s 10K, stealing the spotlight from heavyweights like Florian Wellbrock, Kristof Rasovszky, and Gregorio Paltrinieri.

Acerenza, not initially in the limelight, showcased his prowess in challenging conditions with water temperatures at 22 degrees Celsius. The choppy waters of the Atlantic Ocean in Portugal set the stage for a fiercely contested race. Acerenza’s strategic move in the last lap propelled him to victory, finishing at 1:45:06.20, ahead of Australia’s Nicholas Sloman (1:45:11.70) and Hungary’s Rasovszky (1:45:15.50).

Reflecting on his triumph, Acerenza expressed, “I feel good in the race. There’s a lot of guys on form, and it was a tight race. It was very tough, and I am very happy. I am ready for this season.” Looking ahead, he sets his sights on the upcoming challenge in Doha, aiming to secure Olympic qualification.

Rasovszky’s third-place finish was enough to secure the overall title in the 2023 World Cup, marking his third consecutive triumph after wins in 2019 and 2022. The Hungarian swimmer, celebrating his success, shared his appreciation for the race conditions, stating, “This is the real open water swimming.”

While the race initially saw Wellbrock, the World and Olympic champion, leading, he couldn’t maintain his form, ultimately finishing 20th. Acerenza’s well-timed sprint in the closing stages secured his victory, emphasizing the unpredictable nature of open water swimming.

With up to 30 swimmers finishing within a minute of each other, the race showcased the tight competition among the lead pack. Acerenza’s strategic late surge allowed him to out-sprint competitors like Sloman and Rasovszky, clinching the top spot.

Rasovszky, already qualified for the 2024 Olympics, expressed his desire to stand on the podium in Paris. While the Doha event holds significance as a World Championships, Rasovszky emphasized the Olympics as the main goal.

The overall standings in the World Cup saw Rasovszky leading with 2500 points, securing his Olympic qualification. Marcello Guidi of Italy claimed the second spot with 2000 points, despite finishing tenth in the final race. David Betlehem secured the third position with 1600 points, closely followed by Acerenza with 1500 points.

In the junior category, Sacha Velly emerged as the champion, both in the final race and overall, amassing 1600 points.

As nations utilized the event for qualification to the 2024 World Aquatics Championships in Doha, the competition added a layer of significance. Rasovszky’s consistent performance and Acerenza’s upset victory contributed to the excitement of the World Aquatics Open Water Swimming World Cup’s concluding event.

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By- Sahiba Suri

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