The heat doesn’t bother her: At the end of the swimming competitions at the World Championships in Hungary, Lea Boy wins silver in the open water. She has a simple recipe for swimming for almost five and a half hours.

Happy and relieved, Lea Boy stood on the beach of Lupa Lake and, after her brilliant performance over 25 kilometers, was surprisingly fresh about her silver medal at the end of the swimming world championships.

«Fortunately it was enough in the end. It could have been fourth place, but I was able to get everything out again, which was possible in the end,” said the 22-year-old. In a thrilling four-man sprint with a photo finish, Boy was only beaten by Brazilian world champion Ana Marcela Cunha in the heat of Budapest. Bronze went to Sharon van Rouwendaal from the Netherlands. After gold in the open water relay, it was Boy’s second medal at the World Championships in Hungary.

“Of course, that gives hope for Paris 2024,” she said, referring to the Olympic Games. “When you’re at the front, the others look at you, there’s more pressure. But it’s fun. Races like this just reward all the training I’ve had.” Boy has established himself in open water. Last year she became European Champion over the longest distance – also in Lupa Lake.

Boy just swam

37 degrees outside temperature, around 28 degrees in the water, swimming for almost five and a half hours: none of that bothered Boy so much. Shortly after the race, she strolled out of the finish area and was laughing. “It was warm, but not too hot,” she said, revealing her simple recipe for the long race: “It’s best not to think at all, just swim.”

Together with the second German starter, Elea Linka, Boy swam at the front right from the start. “The first 15 kilometers were very slow. It wasn’t that tiring. Then no one wanted to go forward, everyone was back in one heap. That’s a bit stupid, of course, »she said and added with a smile: «But in the end I solved it quite well.» Linka finished sixth at her first World Championships.

As many medals as last time in 2011

The German swimmers left the Hungarian capital with medals from nine races. There were three silvers and one bronze in the pool. The open water aces won two golds, two silvers, and placed third once. The last time there was so much precious metal was in 2011. The open water swimmers were last more successful in 2013 – and thus still at the time of record world champion Thomas Lurz. Florian Wellbrock in particular shaped the title fights from a German perspective with five medals.

Before Boy’s strong World Championship finish in 5:24:15.20 hours, Italian Dario Verani had won the men’s 25-kilometer race after 5:02:21.50 hours. With an energetic final spurt, he prevented the title hat-trick of Frenchman Axel Reymond, who became world champion in 2017 and 2019. Third was the Hungarian Peter Galicz. Germany’s Andreas Waschburger and Ben Langner finished 11th and 13th.