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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Italy Turns To Rio After Alice Franco's Victory

As the top team at the 2012 European Open Water Swimming Championships, the future for Italian swimmers over the next Olympic quadrennial is looking very good for Italy.

On the last day of the championships, Alice Franco and Martina Grimaldi captured gold and bronze in the women´s 25km. Italy led all teams with 4 gold medals and 3 bronze medals.

During the 25km race, the men started 15 minutes after the women and took about 12km to catch their feminine counterparts. At the point when the men's pack intermingled with the women's pack around the course, Franco, Grimaldi and Spain's Dominguez picked up the pace and meshed with the men over the next 7km, effectively turning the race into a three-women hunt for gold.

Franco, the defending champion, left a bit in the tank and outsprinted her rivals to capture the gold in 5 hours 31 minutes, 5 seconds over silver medalist Dominguez. "In the last 500 meters, I said to myself 'Come on, I can make it!'," recalled the 23-year-old Franco coached by Pino Palumbo. "Since Martina [Grimaldi] won the 10 km and Rachele [Bruni] the 5 km, I thought this was my chance and I wanted to keep my title. It has been a great European championship, and very well organized. We really feel at home here and this surely helped us to achieve such good results. This victory is for my mother who came to support me in 10 km and for my dad as well. This has been a long difficult year,. Swimming along with men helped a lot; it was a good race, fast and blessed by perfect sea conditions.I had fun! Now I can enjoy my well deserved holidays. Where? Seaside with Fabiana Lamberti. Then I´ll get back to work and see you all in Barcelona in 2013."

Grimaldi, who was also the bronze medalist at the 2012 Olympic Games in the 10km, was tired but satisfied. "It was a good race but maybe I was a bit too tired and couldn´t give my best. This is the end of a tiring but beautiful season for me, I´ll remember it all my life."

Margarita Dominguez Cabezas recalled, "It was very difficult, I´m very happy with the result. This is a very important event, it was very tough to keep Alice Franco´s place."

1. Alice Franco, 5:31:21.9
2. Margarita Dominguez Cabezas, 5:31:26.3
3. Martina Grimaldi, 5:31:34.6
4. Silvie Rybarova, 5:37:27.4
5. Celia Barrot, 5:38:38.9
6. Angelina Borodina, 5:38:39.9
7. Anna Uvarova, 5:38:42.8
8. Esther Nunez Morera, 5:39:03.4
9. Fabiana Lamberti, 5:51:52.0
10. Olga Beresnyeva, DNF
11. Maria Bulakhova, DNF
12. Jana Pechanova, DNF
13. Josephine Paschke, DSQ

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

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