Swimming World Championship: Florian Wellbrock wins open water gold

Florian Wellbrock also won the gold medal in open water swimming over five kilometers at the World Championships in Budapest. The 24-year-old beat his long-time Italian competitor Gregorio Paltrinieri on Monday in the 26.7-degree warm Lupa Lake. Bronze went to Wellbrock’s training partner Mykhailo Romanchuk from Ukraine. Wellbrock struck after 52:48.8 minutes. His lead over Paltrinieri was 3.9 seconds.

“I think it was very close to a perfect race,” Wellbrock said. For the frequent starter it was already the fourth medal in the fourth competition at the World Championships and the second title. Born in Bremen, who trains in Magdeburg, he won silver in the 800-meter freestyle and bronze in the 1,500-meter freestyle. On Sunday he also secured the gold medal for the German open water relay with a strong final sprint.

In the five-kilometer race, which the open-water Olympic champion has added to his program compared to the last World Championships, Wellbrock swam in front from the start. About halfway through, he was leading a five-man lead group. On the final lap he pulled away with Paltrinieri and won easily. The second German starter Niklas Frach swam in 13th place.

“I kept the speed at a very high level. That worked,” Wellbrock said. “Now it’s okay to be a bit tired.” This Tuesday he has a day off from competition. Wellbrock wants to defend his world title over the Olympic ten kilometers on Wednesday.

On course for gold: Florian Wellbrock in open water

Image: Reuters



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