European Championships: Leonie Beck Out-Touches Barbara Pozzobon To Retain 10k Title By 0.1 In Belgrade

Leonie Beck & Barbara Pozzobon: Credit to: European Aquatics

European Championships: Leonie Beck Out-Touches Barbara Pozzobon To Retain 10k Title By 0.1 In Belgrade

Leonie Beck retained her 10k title as she out-touched Barbara Pozzobon by 0.1secs at the European Aquatics Championships in Belgrade.

Giulia Gabbrielleschi was third to make it an Italian 2-3 in the first open water event of the continental meet, staged at Ada Ciganlija, venue of the 2023 World Rowing Championships.

Beck, who claimed the 5/10k double at the 2023 World Championships, stayed with the pack before making a decisive attack on the final lap.

Lisa Pou from Monaco led for a while before Pozzobon and Gabbrielleschi teamed up to set the pace and in the second half of the race the Italy teammates consolidated the top two spots.

On the last lap, Gabbrielleschi swam alone a bit further aside while Beck started gearing up and she passed Pozzobon who tried to stay close.

As they turned into the final straight, it was a clear two-horse race between Beck and Pozzobon, who train together in Piombino.

Leonie Beck: Credit to: European Aquatics


They swam shoulder to shoulder in the final metres but Beck timed her touch perfectly, claiming victory in 2:00:54.8 to the Italian’s 2:00.54.9.

Gabbrielleschi came third a further 3.6sec adrift in 2:00:58.5 with Spain’s Angela Martinez in fourth, ahead of early leader Bettina Fabian who finished fifth.

Beck said:

“It was a great race, I tried my best to have a great finish.

“Since I train with Barbara (Pozzobon) every day, I know perfectly how strong she is, so I know it’s going to be hard. At the end, I had the lucky touch. This is a great result on the way to Paris.”

Pozzobon was content with her silver despite losing top spot in the last metres, saying:

“I won’t say that I’m unhappy.

“First, because this is my first individual medal at the European Championships.

“Second, because Leonie (Beck) is my team-mate, so I’m glad that she had a good race and won the gold medal. I really gave everything I could, claimed a medal, so this is fine.

“We are happy that Italy had two medals here, I think we have one of strongest teams now.”

Gabbrielleschi added:

“Since I’ve been preparing for the Sette Colli next week, I’m not in the best shape, so this a great to win a medal here, I’m quite happy with it.”

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