11 August 14:19 (BST)

Italian FURLAN hopes for third time lucky in open water battle with French world champion REYMOND

GLASGOW - Matteo FURLAN (ITA) hopes to make it third time lucky when he takes on 25km world champion Axel REYMOND (FRA) in the open water swimming competition at Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park on Sunday.

REYMOND was the clear victor at the 2016 European Championships but the battle was far closer at the 2017 world championships. After five hours of swimming, REYMOND touched the board 0.6 seconds ahead.

"Axel is the man to beat," FURLAN said. "It is not easy because he is good with the wetsuit and I prefer to swim without, so it is a different race but I can try.

"He has a good base in the long race and this year he was good in 10km and 5km, so Sunday is a good race and we will have fun."

REYMOND took silver in the 5km at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships after working on his speed.

Other possible contenders include Evgenii DRATTSEV (RUS), at 35, the oldest man in the race, and who finished third behind the other two in the world championships.

In the women's race, defending champion Martina GRIMALDI (ITA) will face challenges from Arianna BRIDI (ITA) and Sharon VAN ROUWENDAAL (NED), who has already won gold medals in the 5km, 10km and mixed team relay.

CNS js/mr