FINA has confirmed the 25 men and 25 women who will participate in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in the Marathon Open Water 10km swim. The lists have been released now that all invited federations have confirmed their intent to send qualified swimmers.
The first 10 spots on the list were awarded on the basis of the results of the 2015 World Aquatics Championships 10k race. Notably, American Jordan Wilimovsky and France’s Aurelie Mueller lead the way as the defending World Champions (though 2012 proved that this isn’t necessarily as valuable in open water as one might expect).
Also of significance is that Brazil earned invites in both the men’s and the women’s field based on their placing at the World Championships, meaning that no further spots needed to be held for the host country.
That meant that the top 10 finishers (of each gender) at the Open Water Qualifier in Setubal, Portugal in early June, plus the next-best swimmers from each of the FINA-defined 5 continents, also earned a bid.
There was some drama in New Zealand, who initially declined to send either of their qualifiers, Kane Radford or Charlotte Webby, on the basis of them not being competitive. Upon appeal and public outcry, Radford’s spot was reinstated (only after FINA claims to have offered the spot to another swimmer), but Webby was held out. Her spot then went to the next-fastest swimmer overall who was not already qualified, which wound up being Portugal’s Vania Neves. Neves didn’t even swim at last year’s World Championships in open water, but earned her spot with a 16th place finish at the qualifier in Portugal.
While defending Olympic gold medalist Ous Mellouli and defending Olympic bronze medalist Richard Weinberger both return to defend their positions from the 2012 Olympics, there is huge turnover in the overall field on the men’s side – in a side of the sport that historically allows swimmers to extend careers longer than in the pool. The 2nd place finisher Thomas Lurz, as well as the 5th-through-12th place finishers, from London won’t compete in Rio.
The women’s side is also dented: defending Olympic bronze medalist Martina Grimaldi will be absent absent. That leaves defending gold medalist Eva Risztov and defending silver medalist Haley Anderson as returning medalists from London. They placed 9th and 10th, respectively, at Worlds last year.
|GBR||BURNELL Jack Rex David|
|FRA||OLIVIER Marc-Antoine Daniel Frede|
|BRA||DO CARMO Allan|
|ECU||ENDERICA OCHOA Ivan|
|NZL||RADFORD Kane Rae Francis|
|EGY||ELAMRAWY Marwan Ahmed Aly Morsy|
|NED||VAN ROUWENDAAL Sharon|
|BRA||CUNHA Ana Marcela|
|EGY||KASEEM Reem Mohamed Hussein Elsayed|