Big fields, big names in the season-opener
As per tradition, the European open water swimming seasons kicks off in Eilat (ISR) where the first leg of the European Open Water Cup is to be staged on Sunday. World and European champions will line up at the start of the event which will see more than 80 swimmers competing.
After last season’s tremendous success, the newly shaped LEN European Open Water Cup returns and offers even more for the competitors. A significantly raised pot of prize money awaits the swimmers as €10,000 are up for grabs in each leg of the series.
Since at least one participation in the preceding two years is obligatory in order to be eligible for racing at this summer’s European Championships in Glasgow, the number of entries for Eilat shows a huge jump compared to previous years: 49 men and 35 women signed up for the season opener.
A handful of stars are about to hit the waters of the Red Sea: Italy’s world champion Simone Ruffini and fellow European gold medallist Federico Vanelli, Russia’s five-time world championships medallist Evgenii Drattsev, European champion compatriot Kirill Abrosimov and the overall title-holder Hungarian Kristof Rasovszky highlight the men’s race.
Among the women, world champions Martina Grimaldi of Italy, Eva Fabian of Israel (she represented the US previously), European silver medallist Olga Kozydub are the ones to watch, though it’s going to be a tough battle with a lot of upcoming young swimmers.
Highlights of the event will be available soon after the race – for results and detailed statistics you can visit the LEN website (www.len.eu).
LEN Open Water Cup – 2018
Leg 2, 31 May – Gravelines (FRA)
Leg 3, 30 June – Barcelona (ESP)
Leg 4, 28 July – Navia (ESP)
Leg 5, 25 August – Copenhagen (DEN)
Leg 6, 9 September – Bled (SLO)