An Italian swimmer who trained and raced at Marina Martinique in Jeffreys Bay in 2011 as part of her build up to the Olympic Games, won the 25 Km swim at the European Championships over the weekend.
On the first day of the 32nd LEN European Swimming Championships, Martina Grimaldi finished an uncharacteristic 15 seconds behind the winner, placing 10th in the 10 km race and did not compete in the 5 km or 5 km team pursuit.
But the powerful swimmer came back characteristically strong on the last day of the open water swimming competition in Berlin. She blasted a fast last loop in 29:42 to capture the 25 km championship over Hungary’s Anna Olasz in the 10-loop course.
The veteran cleverly played her cards right, always lurking in the back of the lead pack. She ranged from ninth position on the first loop (swum in 31:40.7) to fourth on the ninth loop (swum in 32:53.5), but when it came to bring it home, Grimaldi came through to win by a comfortable 7 seconds in the 5-hour race.
The age differentials in the top 3 women are interesting to note: Grimaldi is a 25-year-old Olympic medalist, Olasz is a 20-year-old college student, and Angela Maurer is a 39-year-old mother and veteran of two Olympic Games.
1. Martina Grimaldi (ITA) 5:19:14.1
2. Anna Olasz (HUN) 5:19:21.0
3. Angela Maurer (GER) 5:19:21.4