Rhys Mainstone has won the third open water swimming World Cup of the year, claiming victory at the 10km marathon event in Noumea, New Caledonia.
The 25-year-old from Perth won the gruelling race in 1:56:53.9, just ahead of Marc-Antoine Olivier of France who was second in 1:56:56.2.
Mainstone took on the small but competitive field and overcame challenging conditions to win the race.
“I was very motivated to swim well in this event as it’s the only event in the Oceania region,” said Mainstone. “I’m very happy that FINA have put a series event close to home.
“My plan was to just sit in the pack and conserve energy but with swell conditions and wind direction getting worse I make a brave decision to break the field and use the conditions to my advantage early in the race going solo with 9.5km to swim.”
Mainstone said he felt the challenge of swimming out on his own but drew on his mental toughness to push through.
“It’s much harder to swim alone than within a pack of swimmers so the field was slowly gaining,” he said. “I managed to win with about two body lengths from the fast finishing French swimmer [Olivier].”
France’s Axel Reymond, who won the last World Cup in Abu Dhabi, took bronze in 1:57:24.4.