Following nearly five hours and 20 minutes of swimming just 0.1 second separated the two leading swimmers Italy’s Arianna Bridi prevented Sharon van Rouwendaal from winning a fourth title at Loch Lomond today.
Van Rouwendaal was seeking to complete a clean sweep of victories in Glasgow, having added the mixed relay title yesterday to the gold won the in the five and 10 kilometre events.
She looked on course to achieve the feat as the Dutchwoman led in the in today’s 25km competition.
A wrong turn put the gold medal in jeopardy, as although she moved back to the head of the field, she would have to go head-to-head with Bridi at the finish.
Bridi would clinch the gold in a photo finish having touched in 5 hours, 19min and 34.6sec, just 0.1 second faster than her rival.
"I am so happy because I made so many mistakes in the 10km and this time I have won with my head and with my brain,” Bridi said.
"I let her lead the group because I knew that by doing so I could have saved some energy whereas she would have gotten tired.
“I knew this might have changed the result in the end."
There was disappointment for van Rouwendaal, who would have to settle for the silver medal at the end of a successful week.
“I was swimming so fast that my head was turning and I was pacing, pacing, pacing, pacing and I see that I'm not going in a good direction, but my head was spinning.
"I heard someone yell and then it was too late.
“I go back and I tried catch the women, so I catch the men and they stay on my feet and I catch a girl, another girl - I'm crying at that moment.
“But at the end I caught the Italian girl and I was sprinting, but the last 100 metres I had cramp in my leg and my head was spinning and when she came next to me I was dead.”
France’s Lara Grangeon would claim the bronze medal, after she finished the event in a time of 5:19:42.9.
Hungary’s Kristof Rasovszky completed a highly successful Championships, as he triumphed in the men’s competition.
The 21-year-old had already earned the 5km crown and ended second in the 10km, where he missed out in a photo finish to the Netherlands’ Ferry Weertman, the Olympic champion.
With Weertman not lining up for the 25km event, Rasovszky would prove the man to beat again.
He took the lead in the closing stages of the race and avoided a repeat of the 10km event when he was caught at the finish.
The Hungarian touched home in a time of 4:57:53.3, with Russia’s Kirill Belyaev ending as the runner-up at one second back.
Italy’s Matteo Furlan completed the podium as he ended in 4:57:55.8.