NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Rising sophomore Eva Fabian competed in the FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships in Barcelona today, winning the bronze medal in an unbelievably close race. Italy's Martina Grimaldi touched first in 5:07:19.7, only .1 seconds ahead of Germany's Angela Alexander Maurer and only .7 seconds ahead of Fabian.
The entire field swam together in a pack for most of the race, before a group of six swimmers, including Fabian, broke free in a push towards the line. As they entered the finishing chute, Fabian, Grimaldi , and Maurer surged ahead in a frantic sprint to the finish. The top three swimmers touched virtually simultaneously. In fact, the scoreboard initially showed Maurer in the top spot before awarding the gold to Grimaldi.
"No matter what, the end is going to hurt. You've just got to stay in there and make sure you have enough for that final sprint," Fabian said.
"I'm happy to get on the podium for the USA, disappointed that I was so close but [it was] a very good race overall."
Fabian, who won the 1000-yard freestyle and 1,650-yard freestyle at the 2013 Ivy League Championships, was competing in a field of 22 swimmers, four of whom were forced to drop out before completing the race.