The Brazilian national team will be looking to qualify two athletes for both the men’s and women’s 10k races at the 2016 Olympic Games this week at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia.
Due to their stance as the host nation of the games, the Brazilians will be able to send one swimmer to each race regardless of their finishes at these World Championships.
If Brazil wants to put two athletes in each race, both athletes will need to finish in the top 10 in the 10k race in Kazan.
Currently, Brazil has two athletes scheduled to swim in both races. In the men’s race Allan do Carmo and Diogo Villarinho will be looking for a top 10 finish. As for the women, Ana Marcela Cunha and Poliana Okimoto will be competing.
Carmo is one of Brazil’s best chances to make the Olympic team. He was a 2013 World Championship medallist, taking bronze as part of the team event. He also finished fifth, just out of a medal position in the 25k race, and seventh in the 10k race. Most recently he won the 10k marathon at the 2014 South American Games.
Villarinho finished 52nd at the 2013 World Championships in the 10k swim. He was much better in the 25k swim where he finished 15th, just behind Jordan Wilimovsky of the United States.
On the women’s side, both Cunha and Okimoto have ample chance to finish within the top 10 in Kazan. Cunha medaled in each open water discipline at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona. Her best result was a gold medal in the 25k race; she took home silver in the 10k.
In the 10k, Cunha finished second to Okimoto who earned her first major international gold medal with that swim. Okimoto also finished second in the 5k race in 2013, showing the overall strength of these two Brazilian swimmers.
It’s looking as though the women have a very good chance of qualifying two swimmers, however on the men’s side there will need to be a big push from both Carmo and Villarinho if they want to secure a two swimmer roster for 2016.
The men’s race will take place on July 27, the women’s race will take place July 28.