ROBERVAL, Que. – Canadian Olympic team member Richard Weinberger of Victoria won the gold medal on Thursday in the men’s 10 kilometre race at the FINA open water World Cup circuit. It was Weinberger’s first career World Cup win.
He clocked one hour and 56 minutes and 05.04 seconds finishing ahead of Arthur Frayler of the U.S., in second at 1:56:07.01 and Christian Reichert of Germany in third at 1:56:09.01.
”This race allows me to build some confidence which is what I wanted to achieve here,” said Weinberger. ”It was a hard race. The last three laps were faster and I increased the rhythm. It augurs well for London.”
Weinberger has made a name for himself in the past year wining key marathon events.
He won the Olympic test event last summer at Hyde Park, and went on to winning the Pan American Games. During the World Cup season, Weinberger collected a silver in Argentina, and a bronze in Brazil.
He qualified for the Canadian Olympic team in Portugal last month, by placing second in the men’s 10km marathon ahead of Bulgarian star Petar Stoychev.
Xavier Desharnais of Sherbrooke, Que., was fifth and Aimeson King of Victoria seventh.
In the women’s 10 kilometre race, Eva Fabian led the U.S., to a 1-2 finish with Christine Jennings second and Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil third.
Zsofia Balazs of Toronto, also tuning up for the London Games, was fifth and Béatrice Pineau of Quebec City sixth. Nadine Williams of Edmonton was 11th and Sarah-Lee Hevey of 12th.
Balaz was the first national champion in the women’s 10km, and is now Canada’s first qualifier for the Marathon swimming event at the Olympic Games since it joined the program in 2008.
At the Olympics, the women’s 10 kilometre is August 9 and the men’s 10 kilometre August 10.