Dávid Betlehem won his first medal in a major international competition in his adult career after finishing third at the Open Water Swimming World Cup in Lac-Mégantic.
The event took place just six days after the troubled European Championships in Rome. The gap between the top three finishers was just 1.17 seconds.
Betlehem told the Hungarian federation that he did not feel comfortable swimming in the 21°C water, so he did not dare to risk the same kind of breakaway he did in Ostia at the European Championships: “I went ahead, then I swapped the lead with Raso. In the third lap Acerenza did not come out to drink, then he came in front of us, plus a Canadian, and we had to fight with him a bit until we finally managed to pull him away. By this time I was pretty drenched and my arms were a bit numb, but I tried to give it a go from behind Raso. Well, it went much better than I thought it would, I was suddenly up on the others, next time I’ll have to start earlier, because even with the frostbite I felt fast enough.”
The World Cup continues in Puerto Rico on the first weekend in October and concludes in Eliat in November, while Bethlehem will still have a presence at the Junior World Championships in the Seychelles in September.
Featured image: Zsolt Czeglédi/MTI