Following the successful hosting of a League European de Natation (LEN) Open Water Swimming Cup event in Copenhagen last weekend, both the Danish Swimming Federation and Sport Event Denmark say they would like to run more open water swimming events.
The LEN Cup is a series of six elite 10km open water swimming races throughout Europe. The Copenhagen swim was the fifth event in the 2015 series and is the only one to take place inside a city centre. The swim follows the same route as the popular mass participation Christiansborg Rundt, a 2km swim through Denmark’s Canals around some of the capital’s most famous landmarks in which more than 3,300 swimmers took part and took place immediately prior to the elite event.
Whereas the mass participation swimmers were allowed to wear wetsuits and only had to complete one lap, the elite swimmers raced without wetsuits (in accordance with FINA regulations) and circled the course five times.
The women’s race was dominated by the German team, whose swimmers took all three podium places after breaking away early and finishing within a few seconds of each other. Svenja Zihsler touched first, followed by Sarah Bosslet and Finnia Wunram.
In the men’s race, Matej Kozubek from the Czech Republic finished a body length ahead of Germany’s Rob Muffels. The final podium place was tightly contested with three men slapping the finish board almost simultaneously. Pepijn Smits of the Netherlands snatched the bronze by a fingernail.
The circular nature of the course combined with plenty of viewing areas made the elite race one of the most accessible on the circuit for spectators and helped to showcase elite marathon swimming. The organisers were delighted that so many swimmers from earlier in the day stayed around to watch the 10km event.
“It has been a great pleasure for us to play host of a LEN European Open Water Swimming Cup today,” says Pia Holmen, CEO of the Danish Swimming Federation. “It makes us want to go for more. The Danish Swimming Federation has decided to focus more on open water swimming in the future. We therefore want to take an active part in staging events because we want to position ourselves as a significant swimming nation and also to give the Danish swimmers the possibility to compete on home ground.”
Her position is supported by Sport Event Denmark.
“We have previously hosted the FINA Open Water World Cup and the European Short Course Championships,” says Lars Lundov, CEO, Sport Event Denmark. “For Denmark this European Open Water Swimming Cup is the next step towards more international swimming events. We thus bid for a FINA Open Water World Cup and for the European Short Course Swimming Championships.”