Damian Blaum (ARG) and Alice Franco (ITA) were the winners of the fifth and last event of the 2015 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix, held on September 6 between Capri and Napoli, in Italy. In this traditional 36km-race, the Argentinean took 6h22m13s to get the gold, while Franco touched home in 6h29m54s.
In both the men’s and women’s event, the silver medal was obtained by the overall winner of the series. Evgenij Pop Acev (MKD) was second in Italy (6h22m16), but concluded the season with 49 points and the first place of the Grand Prix 2015 classification. Pop Acev participated in all five legs of the circuit, having one victory, precisely in home waters, at the Ohrid Lake. In the women’s field, the second fastest between Capri and Napoli was Pilar Geijo (ARG, 6h35m17), who got the final triumph in the series, with a total of 60 points. Her best result during the year had been the gold in the third race, in Lac St-Jean (CAN).
Completing the podium in Italy, local star Simone Ercoli was third among men (6h22m20s), while Spain’s Esther Nunez got the bronze in the women’s race, in a time of 6h43m31s
Moreover, the best in the overall ranking, besides the winners Pop Acev and Geijo, were in the men’s classification Bertrand Venturi (FRA, second with 39 points) and Xavier Desharnais (CAN, third with 34 points). Among women, Franco was the runner-up with 56 points, while experienced Esther Nunez was the third best, with 49 points.
The 2015 success for Pop Acev was the first of this kind for the Macedonian star, after being second of the ranking in 2013 and third in 2011 and 2012. Pilar Geijo repeated her victories of 2010 and 2011.