GWANGJU, South Korea (AP) — Kristof Rasovszky of Hungary won the men’s 5-kilometer open water event Saturday to claim the first medal of the world swimming championships.
Rasovszky finished in a time of 53 minutes, 22:10 seconds. The 22-year-old won the 5- and 25-kilometer open water events at the 2018 European aquatic championships.
Logan Fontaine of France took silver Saturday, 10.10 seconds behind, and Canada’s Eric Hedlin was third to take bronze, two-tenths of a second behind Fontaine.
“It was a huge race, great speed, no tactical swims, just go,” Rasovszky said. “I toyed with the idea to stay a bit behind before I geared up, but there was a tremendous fight at the turns so I saw it was better to stay in front and not be part of that tussle.”
He said the win takes the pressure off him in the 10-kilometer race.
“I launched my finish a bit earlier than expected but it all worked well,” he said. “This is a great feeling, this gold eases the pressure before the 10k so I think I can show my real potential there.”
Saturday’s race was the first of seven open-water events at the world championships.
Other open water races include a 5-kilometer team relay on Thursday and men’s and women’s races over 25 kilometers next Friday.
On Sunday, the women’s 10-kilometer race is scheduled.
More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports