Swann Oberson, who has been swimming in international competitions for only a year, has won the women’s five-kilometre race at the open water world championships in Shanghai.
The appropriately named 24-year-old from Geneva edged Aurélie Muller of France and Ashley Twichell from the United States in a close finish for the gold medal.
Half a second separated the podium finishers – Oberson was timed in 1 hour, 39.7 seconds, Muller took silver in 1:00.40.1 and Twichell won bronze with 1:00.40.2. The top ten finishers were separated by only eight seconds.
Oberson’s strategy of letting others take the lead paid off when she came from behind for the win.
“I know that being in the lead is not very good in open water, and I was very good in the last 1,000 metres," she said. "So I just tried to stay in the top ten over the whole race."
She said she trains five hours a day – “the swimming pool is my second house”.
Switzerland’s previous medal at the open water world championships was in Melbourne four years ago when Flavia Rigamonti came second in the 1500m.
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