Marc-Antoine Olivier & Leonie Beck Lead European Charge At FINA Marathon Swim Series in Doha


Leonie Beck, of Germany, and Marc-Antoine Olivier, of France, topped the FINA Marathon Swim World Series in Doha today as Europeans claimed five of the six podium places in a show of continental open-water strength.

European dominance in the 10km battles extended to six places among the top 10 women and nine places among the top 10 men. Where Beck won by a slither, Olivier took the men’s race in dominant fashion 12 seconds ahead of his closest challengers.


Germany’s Leonie Beck, tops the podium at Doha 2020, with Ana Cunha, left, and Sharon can Rouwendaal next home at the FINA Marathon Swim Series – Photo Courtesy: FINA/Doha2020

Twenty two-year-old Beck, bronze medallist over 5km at the World Championships in Gwangju last year, stopped the clock at 1hr 56 mins 41.1sec getting her hand to the pad 0.2sec ahead of World 5km and 25km Champion Ana Cunha, of Brazil, and Olympic champion Sharon van Rouwendaal, awarded second and third places respectively.

Either side of American Haley Anderson, in fifth on on 1:56.42.9 were Italy’s Arianna Bridi, just shy of the podium on 1:56.42.4, and Rachele Bruni, on 1:56.43. 9 in a time-tie with Australian Kareena Lee, who was awarded seventh.

Samantha Aravelo of Ecuador, Germany’s Lea Boy, Britain’s Alice Dearing and Germany’s Finnia Wunram also came home within 10sec of the winner.


Marc-Antoine Olivier Photo Courtesy: FINA/Doha 2020

Olivier came home in 1:49.46.6 ahead of two German bites of the cherry, courtesy of Rob Muffels, on 1:49.59.2 and World champion Florian Wellbrock, just 0.1sec shy of his teammate.

Runner-up in the 10km in Gwangju, Olivier won the Seychelles’ race of the FINA Series last year. In 2017, he claimed the 5km World title and took bronze in the marathon at the global gathering in Hungary.

Europeans occupied the next three places beyond the podium, Fares Zitouni, of France, 1.5sec shy of the medals, Olympic 1500m freestyle champion Gregorio Paltrinieri and Italian teammate Marcello Guidi on 1:50.01.0 and 1:50.01.4.

Paltrinieri gets ever closer to the helm of marathon action, he and Wellbrock, Marathon and 1500m free champion last year in Gwangju, both in with a shot at Olympic podiums in pool and open water in Tokyo next July and August.

Hayden Cotter, of Australia, Olympic champion Ferry Weertman, of The Netherlands, Brits Jack Burnell and Tom Pardoe, Russian Kirill Abrosimov and Italy’s Simone Ruffini completed the club of those within 10sec of gold.