Axel Reymond dueled with Russian Kirill Belyaev over the final meters of the 25-kilometer open water race on Friday before the Frenchman lunged ahead for a three-tenths of a second victory at the world championships.
Reymond finished in a time of 4 hours, 51 minutes, 6.20 seconds while Belyaev clocked 4:51.06.50. Alessio Occhipinti of Italy earned the bronze medal, 3.30 seconds behind Reymond in often heavy rain.
Another Italian, Simon Ruffini, was fourth, 8.70 seconds behind. Australian Kai Edwards took fifth, 11 seconds behind Reymond.
The top Americans were David Heron in 14th place, 4 minutes, 05.60 seconds behind the winner, and Brennan Gravley, who finished right behind Heron in 15th, 6:11.30 behind.
Only two of the 24 starters failed the complete the men's race.
The men's and women's 25-kilometer races ended the seven-event open water program at the worlds. Only two open-water events will be held at the Tokyo Olympics next year — the men's and women's 10-kilometer races — and the top 10 finishes here qualified for those events.
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