BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Marc-Antoine Olivier of France claimed the first gold medal at the World Aquatics Championships on Saturday by winning the men's 5-kilometer open water race.
The 21-year-old Olivier, who won bronze in the 10K at the 2016 Olympics, finished the course in 54 minutes, 31.40 seconds, edging Italy's Mario Sanzullo by 0.70 seconds, to become the first French male world champion in open water swimming.
"I haven't realized what I did. I wouldn't have thought that I could win," Olivier said.
Timothy Shuttleworth of Britain was 10.70 seconds behind Olivier for bronze.
Defending champion Chad Ho of South Africa was 11th, 17.20 off the pace.
The open water swimming is taking place at Balatonfured on Lake Balaton, some 80 miles southwest of Budapest. The women's 10K race takes place Sunday, with the men's 10K on Tuesday.
In Budapest, Svetlana Kolesnichenko of Russia won the women's solo technical title for the first gold medal in synchronized swimming -- and her first in an individual event.
Kolesnichenko already had 12 world golds in synchronized swimming. She beat Spain's Ona Carbonell, who joined three-time gold medalist Natalia Ishchenko on a record three medals in the solo technical routine. Ishchenko did not compete.
Anna Voloshyna of Ukraine claimed bronze.