Swimming – Open water swimmer Beck EM celebrates gold

Swimming - Open water swimmer Beck EM celebrates gold

ROME (AP) – Leonie Beck was a little unsteady on her feet on the beach at Lido di Ostia. She smiled and raised her index finger. In his adopted home near Rome, of all places, the 25-year-old won gold at the European Championships.

“It went well,” said Beck objectively and laughed. “The European champion is something very special.”

Beck won on Sunday with a strong final sprint ahead of Italy’s Genevara Tadducci off Lido d’Ostia at sea. Angelica Andre from Portugal got the bronze medal. For the race, which was characterized by wind and waves, the German needed 2:01:13.4 hours at the Olympic distance. He had never won a gold medal in a major international individual race before.

hard em race

Along the way the final day of the European Championships was particularly exhausting. “It was one of the top three bumpiest races I’ve ever swam in,” Beck said. “I lost the group again and had to catch up – so it was the same game every time,” she said. Despite the difficult outside conditions, Beck said: “I really enjoyed it.”

About 200 meters before the end of the race, the Augsburg native took the lead and didn’t let himself slip away from the lead. With a 1.8-second lead over Tadduky, Beck hit the stop beam, which was swinging on the water.

Beck has found his sporting home in open water swimming. After he desired successes in the pool, he decided to focus only on the lake or sea races. Beck recently shifted the focus of his life to Italy. There she trains with the Italian team. Beck knows the place of competition from everyday life.

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Also because of this and because of the enthusiastic atmosphere on the beach, the victory of the Vice World Champion was very special. “It’s really cool when you approach people,” Beck said. “Italy is very excited about the Games. I am happy to see that there is some interest in the sport. I would like it for Germany as well.”

Departure for the World Cup in Canada

About five hours after she slept, she finished fifth in the relay on a crucial day. Even though EM is over now, Beck doesn’t have a break. “I’m flying to Canada tomorrow and I still have a World Cup,” she said. “After that I’ll finally take a summer break.”

In Beck’s big race, Lee Boy, who won a silver medal over the 25 kilometer at the World Championships, finished 13th. Janet Spivox had to leave the race. Among the men, Oliver Klemmt finished fifth as the best German. Italian Domenico Acerenza won ahead of French Marc-Antoine Olivier and his compatriot Logan Fontaine.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220821-99-465466/8

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