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July 9th, 2023

French duo Matthieu Poullain and Thomas Deffains win ÖTILLÖ World Series Engadin

ÖTILLÖ World Series Engadin – July 8th.

Matthieu Poullain returns to winning in the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series with his new partner Thomas Deffains, who participated in his first Swimrun race ever.

Slightly overcast but warm conditions made for an ideal race day in the beautiful Engadin valley. 450 athletes from 37 nations participated in the three race distances World Series, Sprint and Experience. 70 teams and 45 solo athletes competed in the World Series race, which covered a total distance of 43.4 km up and down the Upper Engadin with start and finish in Silvaplana. The racers had to master 37.5 km of partly very technical trail running and 5.9 km of swimming across 9 swim sections in Lake Silvaplana, Lake Champfèr and Lake Sils.

After his third-place finish on Utö, Matthieu Poullain and his new team partner were among the favourites in the men’s category. In the women’s category, we saw the return of World Champion Desirée Andersson after a long break recovering from an injury. She raced together with Swiss Sabina Rapelli, who won this year at ÖTILLÖ Utö in June. In the mixed category, Ben Thiesmeyer and Delia Guggenheim were among the favourites after a strong 5th place on Utö.

The pace of the race was fast from the beginning, with Alexis Charrier, another regular top performer on the ÖTILLÖ circuit, who started in the Men’s Solo category in Engadin, charging ahead in the very first swim and leading the race for a long time.

The top teams stayed close together for nearly 3.5 hours before Matthieu Poullain and Thomas Deffains could break away and build a lead. They won the World Series race in a total time of 4 hours 53 minutes and 42 seconds, 6 minutes ahead of Benjamin Dupain and David Pesquet, also from France, and Cédric Wane and Thomas Lubin from French Polynesia in third place.

Statement Thomas Deffains:

It was my first race here in Engadin and also my first ÖTILLÖ race and that was a brand-new experience for me. It was quite hard at the beginning but then we managed to keep our pace the entire race and create a gap.”

Statement Matthieu Poullain:

“For me it was the second time here. I raced in 2020 here with Hugo Tormento but unfortunately I had to give up because of hypothermia. Today, we managed our pace really well, and that was the key to our success because I think all the other teams started too fast, so we had a good strategy. Racing here is just incredible because we are in the middle of the mountains and the landscape is just crazy, the lakes have clear blue water, it’s amazing.”

In the women’s category, Desirée Andersson and Sabina Rapelli could build an early lead and win the race in sovereign style in a time of 5:30:34 ahead of Astrid Linder and Candice Despergers from France (7:10:08) and Brenda Schuurkamp and Laura Oudenhoven from The Netherlands (7:22:16).

In the mixed category the German/Swiss duo of Ben Thiesmeyer and Delia Guggenheim, who did not know until the last minute if she could start after a fall last week on a trail run where she cut her knee so badly it needed stitches, showed a very strong performance and won in an impressive manner after 5:19:06 over Ivan Limia Boo and Montse Martinez Guerrero from Spain (5:48:01) and Jacob Langeloh and Katharina Heining from Sweden (5:52:42).

Jessica Harrison from France and Daniel Rowland from South Africa won female and male categories in the solo race.

The next race of the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series 2023 will he held in Gothenburg on August 6th.

ÖTILLÖ Engadin World Series results:

1. Team ARK Matthieu & Thomas – Matthieu Poullain FRA & Thomas Deffains FRA 4:53:42
2. Team Surprise NU Swimrun – Benjamin Dupain FRA & David Pesquet FRA 4:59:29
3. Team Les Têtards d’Eau Douce – Cédric Wane PYF & Thomas Lubin PYF 5:03:06

1. Team eXdurance Switzerland – Ben Thiesmeyer GER & Delia Guggenheim SUI – 5:19:06
2. Team Bombers Catalunya – Ivan Limia Boo ESP & Montse Martinez Guerrero ESP – 5:48:01
3. Team Lurch und Kuh – Jacob Langeloh SWE & Katharina Heining SWE – 5:52:42

1. Team Envol Envol Desirée & Sabrina – Desirée Andersson SWE & Sabina Rapelli SUI 5:30:34
2. Team HellVN – Astrid Linder FRA & Candice Despergers FRA 7:10:08
3. Team RTC Power Chicks – Brenda Schuurkamp NED & Laura Oudenhoven NED 7:22:16

Winner: Daniel Rowland RSA – 4:56:53

Jessica Harrison FRA – 6:14:35

Another 211 athletes raced in the shorter distance ÖTILLÖ Sprint and ÖTILLÖ Experience races, completing a beautiful day of Swimrun in Engadin.

For the complete results:


Official images here. (please credit photographer / ÖTILLÖ)

News cuts and shot list here.


Swimrun is an endurance sports where you alternate trail-running and open-water swimming on a marked course.

is the leading brand and the origin of the sport.

ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Championship
(ÖTILLÖ meaning island to island in Swedish) is the original swimrun race, renowned as one of the toughest one-day races in the world.


ÖTILLÖ World Series Engadin is part of the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series and a qualifier to ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Championship in the Swedish archipelago.

The ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series is in its eighth season with a minimum of four qualifier races for ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Championship

In 2023, there are four qualifying races to the World Championship:

  • ÖTILLÖ World Series Utö, Sweden, 17 June
  • ÖTILLÖ World Series Engadin, Switzerland, 8 July
  • ÖTILLÖ World Series Gothenburg, Sweden, 6 August
  • ÖTILLÖ® World Series Cannes, France, 14 October (qualifier to ÖTILLÖ WC 2024)

At each World Series event an EXPERIENCE & SPRINT race is also organized.


  • 17th edition on September 4th, 2023
  • 160 teams from all over the world
  • 75 km over and between 24 islands in the Stockholm Archipelago. Renowned as one of the toughest one-day races in the world

More infos here