Marc-Antoine Olivier anchored the winning French relay team in today’s victory in the 5km Team Event. Olivier earned his third medal of the World Championships, after a gold in the 5km race and a bronze in the men’s 10km. The team credits their “amazing coach Phillipe Lucas” for their success in Balaton.
The USA team was anchored by Jordan Wilimovsky, the silver medallist in the men’s 10km race, the American team arrived 12.2 seconds behind the French. Italy’s Mario Sanzullo collected his second bronze medal in Balaton, anchoring their relay in a finish that was 25.1 seconds behind the newly crowned world championships.
The format is new for the Budapest edition of the FINA World Championships: each relay team must contain two men and two women. The order of swimmers is determined by each team and often women will be racing against men in their respective legs of the relay.
Brendan Casey of the USA led off his relay team positioning the Americans in first place in the field of 19 teams. Casey covered the first 1250m of the 5km relay in 14:00.3. Yohsuke Miyamoto swam the first leg of the relay team from Japan swimming 7.3 seconds behind the American. Just one second behind was Allan do Carmo who was the first Brazilian swimmer in their relay team.
Ashley Twichell took over for Casey following the exchange of swimmers. There is a technical official overseeing the changeover for each and every team to ensure that physical contact is made between the swimmers – a requirement that the two swimmers must touch each other’s arms above the water. A total of six teams including Great Britain, Canada and Argentina took their positions in the lead pack at the start of the second of the four legs of the 5km relay.
Tobias Robinson of Great Britain was the second swimmer for his team and once he made contact with Timothy Shuttleworth the third leg was underway by the new leaders. Shuttleworth took a wide path in his leg and it did not seem to be to his advantage. Japan remained in second position, 6.1 seconds behind the team from the UK thanks to a strong swim from Yasunari Hirai. Chad Ho was South Africa’s second swimmer and he turned over the third place position to Michelle Weber, just 7.2 from the lead swimmer.