Hungary's Kristóf Rasovszky and Italy's Rachele Bruni triumphed in the men's and women's open water 10 kilometres races respectively as the International Swimming Federation (FINA) Marathon Swim World Series continued in Lac Saint-Jean in Canada today.
This was despite them flying halfway around the globe from the FINA World Championships in Gwangju in South Korea to arrive by the start of the race.
When Rasovszky touched the men's race's finish pad in 1 hour 53min 28.8sec it marked his second consecutive win on the circuit following his home victory in Balatonfüred last month.
France's Fares Zitouni, a 20-year-old who trains in Rouen, claimed his first podium by finishing 12.5 seconds behind in the runners-up spot.
Italy's Dario Verani took third place on his Lac Saint-Jean debut after passing two swimmers - compatriot Matteo Furlan and 2018 winner Marcel Schouten of The Netherlands – in the final 500 metres.
Entering the sixth and final loop, Rasovszky made his decisive move by skipping the final feed station, accelerating visibly and leading a six-man breakaway.
Then, in the last 700 to 800 metres, the race grew even more interesting when the men caught and passed the women’s race, which had begun about 15 minutes later.
Rasovszky said he knew the men would overtake because he could see the women’s lead boat.
"I tried to make some space," he added.
Bruni could not be touched in the home stretch of the women's race, winning in 2:03:56.4.
Hungary's Anna Olasz posted her best Lac Saint-Jean result, second place, despite competing in the 25km event two days earlier at the FINA World Championships and arriving in Canada at 3am on the day of the race.
She finished 3.90 seconds back, while France's Caroline Jouisse was 6.80 seconds adrift in third and made the podium for the first time in her first full year competing in the World Series.
Commenting on her win, Bruni said: "This year, I went easy four laps and the last two a little faster.
"I wanted to stay with the group and not escape until 500 metres from the end.
"But I passed with 600 metres."
All three women are due to meet again in Canadian town Lac-Mégantic on August 3, when the next 10km stop on the FINA Marathon Swim World Series tour is due to take place.