Poliana Okimoto. It’s a name the average swim fan might not necessarily know, but given her accomplishments in 2013, it’s one you should continue to watch. After a disappointing 2012 Olympics in which she was removed from the competition after passing out from dehydration, the 30-year-old Okimoto rebounded to have a year to remember in 2013.
Having won just three international medals previously, Okimoto finished the 2013 World Championships with three medals in a stacked field, claiming gold in the 10k open water, silver in the 5k, and bronze in the 5k team event. Prior to 2013, Okimoto won silver in the 10k at both the 2007 and 2011 Pan Am Games, and a silver medal in the 5k at the 2009 World Championships.
Her 2013 pool accomplishments shouldn’t get lost in the shuffle, either: two weeks after her open water performance at Worlds, Okimoto set the Brazilian record in the long course 1500 meter freestyle with a time of 16:26.90.
Towards the end of the year, Okimoto took home the 10k title at FINA World Cup events in Hong Kong and Sanhtou.
For her efforts, Okimoto was named the Female Athlete of the Year by the Brazilian Olympic Committee.
- Although she came up short in her quest to become the first ever Chilean Worlds medalist, Kristel Kobrich qualified for the championship final in the 1500m, breaking the South American record in prelims (15:54.30). She added around seven seconds in finals to finish a respectable sixth.
- Andreina Pinto had arguably the best meet of her career at Worlds this summer, recording lifetime bests in four individual events, qualifying for two championship finals, and breaking four Venezuelan national records.