With just over two months until Tokyo Olympics, the 2021 European Aquatics Championships, which took place in Hungary last week, was the last opportunity for some of those qualified for the Olympic 10k marathon swim to notch up a little more racing experience.
It also offered a chance for those competing for the last spots at Tokyo to get the measure of their competitors ahead of the upcoming FINA Marathon Swim Olympic Qualifier in Setubal, Portugal in June. The top nine swimmers in there, who haven't already qualified for Toyko, will be given a spot in the 10k Olympic race this summer.
In the men's event, Italy dominated the podium with Gregorio Paltrinieri (55.43.3)and Dario Verani (55:46.6) taking gold and bronze respectively. France's Marc-Antoine Olivier (55:45.1) took silver, finishing just shy of 2 seconds behind Paltrinieri.
Both Paltrinieri and Olivier will compete in the 10k event in Tokyo this summer.
In the women's event, Dutch swimmer Sharon van Rouwendall (58:45.2) claimed gold, with Italy's Giulia Gabbrielleschi (58:49.3) taking silver, and France's Oceane Cassignol (58:51.4) bronze.
Van Rouwendaal will attempt to defend her Olympic title this summer.
In the men's 10k, Both Paltrinieri (1:51:30.6) and Olivier (1:51:41.7) matched their performances in the 5k event, again claiming gold and silver. Germany's Florian Wellbrock (1:51:42.0) took bronze.
In the women's event Sharon van Rouwendall (1:59:12.7) claimed another gold to add to her collection. The 10k Olympic champion finished 0.3 seconds ahead of Hungary's Anna Olasz (1:59:13.0), with Italy's Rachel Bruni (1:59:15.1) taking bronze.
In the men's race, Reymond Axel (4:35:59.8) of France took gold. Italy's Matteo Furlan (4:36:05.1) claimed silver, and Russia's Kirill (4:36:06.2) took bronze.
In the women's race, Germany's Lea Boy (4:53:57.0) took gold. France's Lara Grangeon (4:54:58.4 ) took silver, and Italy's Barbara Pozzobon (4:54:58.7) took bronze.