A British gold surprise by Danielle Huskisson and Caleb Hughes
Hoorn (LEN) – The British open water swimming team caused another surprise by clinching medals at the European Open Water Championships in Hoorn (NED). In the 5 km time-trial Danielle Huskisson captured gold and three hours later Caleb Hughes earned a bronze medal. Russian Kirill Abrosimov repeated his triumph from the 2012 edition in Piombino (ITA) when he got gold in the 5 and 10 km events.
In the women’s event Danielle Huskisson opened the race with start number two and finished at the end as number one. “This is a great surprise for me, I didn’t expect to win here”, the new European champion said. After the first lap she was in the leading position, tied with the local hero Sharon van Rouwendaal. In the second lap, the Dutch runner-up from the last championships in Berlin 2014 got a setback due to the change in the weather conditions. She started 20 minutes after the Brit and later the winds got stronger and generated more waves on the course.
Thus Sharon van Rouwendaal lost time and finished in the third position (59:54.9). Danielle Huskisson won in 59:46.1 minutes, earning the first British medal ever in the women’s 5km event. Finnia Wunram (GER) finished as runner-up (59:52,4), after she had got bronze at last year’s World Championships in Kazan.
Soon the men’s race started under blue skies (the water temperature was above 18 degrees), Kirill Abrosimov set the pace right at the beginning, and gained an 18.6sec gap on Mario Sanzullo. The Italians was in a group of four others within a further 12.9 seconds adrift. In the second half of the race Abrosimov preserved his lead and came first in 54:34.3 minutes. “As a winner in 2012 in Piombino at the European Championships in the 5 and 10 km events, I was not surprised to win today”, he stated.
Behind him Italy’s Federico Vanelli took the silver in 54:54,4 minutes, maintaining the tradition of the “Squadra Azzurri” to earn a medal in this event. Another big surprise came from the British team, courtesy of Caleb Hughes who earned the bronze (55:06,1). “We are together since four years and focusing solely on open water”, he explained the success of the Brits who captured three medals already.
The day also marked some special celebrations as the hosts’ favourite, Ferry Weertman received the 2015 LEN Award here for his outstanding results obtained last season.
5 km (time-trial)
- Danielle Huskisson (Great Britain) – 59:46.1 min
- Finnia Wunram (Germany) – 59:52.4 min
- Sharon van Rouwendaal (Netherlands) – 59:54.9 min
- Kirill Abrosimov (Russia) – 54:34.3 min
- Federico Vanelli (Italy) – 54:54.4 min
- Caleb Hughes (Great Britain) – 55:06.1 min