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Swimming Canada​ – ROBERVAL, Que. – Philippe Guertin of Montreal took the silver medal Saturday in a close 32 kilometre Traversée du Lac St-St-Jean marathon swimming competition, which is also part of the FINA Grand Prix circuit.

Guilllermer Bertola of Argentina won the men’s race in a course record six hours and 19 minute and 22 seconds, followed by Guertin five second later. Evgenij Pop Acev of Macedonia was third three seconds after Guertin.

‘’I led a good part of the race and I was trying to impose the rhythm,’’ said Guertin to reporters dockside. ‘’There were probably times I should have stayed behind a bit more and relaxed. At the end with five or six of us chasing the finish i gave everything I had. I’m happy about that.’’

Xavier Desharnais of Sherbrooke, Que., a two-time winner of the event, was fourth.

‘’It was tough,’’ said Desharnais. ‘’The start was really fast and my arms were sore. After it slowed for a bit it picked up a lot again and I thought I might have a chance. But it was so fast.’’

Italy swept the podium in the women’s race with Martina Grimaldi first in six hours and 41 minutes, Barbara Pozzobon was second and Alice Franco third.

Jade Dusablon of Quebec City was the top Canadian in 16th while Sabryna Lavoie of Roberval was 20th.

‘’I’m not pleased with my result,’’ Lavoie said. ’’I thought I could have done better. It was difficult to swim with the wet suit.’’ The wet suit is mandatory if the water temperature is 18 Celsius or less. It was exactly 18 so swimmers had the option and most of them wore the wet suit.

There were 25 racers overall (13 women and 12 men). The start of the race was 8:30 a.m. from Péribonka. The finishers were greeted by Queberc Premier Philippe Couillard and federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was on hand earlier this week to encourage the swimmers before heading to the Canada Games in Winnipeg on Friday.

The race, which headlines a week-long festival and also included a FINA 10 kilometre World Cup on Thursday, generated more than $1.6 million to the local economy.

Full results: https://www.facebook.com/Traversee


Nathan White
Senior manager, Communications, Swimming Canada
Gestionnaire supérieur des communications, Natation Canada
t. +1 613-260-1348 x2002 | m. +1 613-866-7946 | nwhite@swimming.ca