FINA Officially Replaces NZ’s Radford in Olympic 10KM

  7 Braden Keith | June 22nd, 2012 | Featured, Open Water

According to the open-water website Open Water Source, FINA has officially replaced Kane Radford in the open water 10km race at the London Olympics after the New Zealand Olympic Committee declined the bid that he earned three weeks ago in Setubal, Portugal.

New Zealand’s top open water swimmers, Radford and Cara Baker, both earned their way into the meet by the continental quota bids – meaning that they were the fastest swimmers from the Oceania “continent” at the last-chance open water qualifying race. But the New Zealand Olympic Committee had other ideas, proclaiming that they wanted their athletes to be invited based on a top-9 finish, rather than just being the quota recipients.

With Australia having already earned their open water bids at last year’s World Championships, and therefore not being entered in the races in Portugal, that left New Zealand as the continental reps almost by default.

Now Radford has been replaced by the only other open water swimmer: Benjamin Schulte. The young 16-year old from Guam is one of the best swimmers ever from his country, but he’s still by-far the youngest swimmer in this Olympic field and finished 15 minutes behind the winners of the race. He has a brilliant future, and is owed a world of congratulations on making the Olympics, but will likely be swimming alone for most of the 10km race at the Olympics. The next-slowest competitor to make the field was still 10-minutes (roughly a mile in distance) ahead of Schulte.

No decision has been rendered on Baker, but her situation is significantly more complicated for FINA. New Zealand was the only Oceanic country to enter the open water qualifier, and the rules don’t clearly define who gets that spot. It would seem that the Netherlands’ Linsy Hester gets that spot, but her federation isn’t sure they want it either. The next after her is Mexico’s Lizeth Ruedo, who was 19th.

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7 Comments on "FINA Officially Replaces NZ’s Radford in Olympic 10KM"

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4 years 3 months ago

FINA really have to consider brazilian swimmer Ana Marcela Cunha. She placed 11th in Shangai and won the 25km. The 10km’s winner in Shangai was already qualified, since she’s british. Its more than fair FINA invite Ana to the left spot.


Swim Brasil

4 years 3 months ago

What a bummer, Kane’s an awesome dude! I wish countries wouldn’t have such strict/stupid rules when picking swimmers to represent their country. A la: France, Germany, Britain, etc…

Swim Argentina
4 years 3 months ago

The women’s spot should be left open, b/c going to the next spot in Portugal is an insult to those who placed just behind 10th in Shanghai but had someone from their country in the top ten.

In fact, the 25 person limit is also an insult to open water swimming (after all, World Cups frequently have more than 50 per race). If you want a limit of 25 in a race, have preliminaries and finals a week later. World Cups are often a week apart… or less.

While we’re at it, selecting a year in advance is a stupid rule as well. Things can change a LOT in one year. Just look at the U.S. women. Two different swimmers in Portugal than in Shanghai. They probably have 11 who could beat half the Olympic field, but that is yet another story… that’s just how the Olympics are in general.

4 years 3 months ago

Having Schulte qualify when he was nearly 18 mins behind main field & this being his 4th ever 10k swim, is disgraceful, when all the others have spent so much attaining their spot & others missed out!! Sport according to FINA!!

4 years 3 months ago

You really think its disgraceful Margaret for a young man to have the opportunity of a lifetime? And do you really think this is only the 4th time he has ever swum 10km? I would be duly impressed if that were true as it means he has great potential to improve in the future! Believing that only the fastest should swim at the olympics really shows you dont appreciate the value of the competition. Anything can happen in a race, the conditions can affect every swimmer in open water differently so who knows how Schulte will do. Its about representing your country and being proud on a world scale, not just coming first. Clearly you would prefer only a handful of people from certain countries could compete..because the only thing that matters is beating everyone else.

4 years 3 months ago

Well said!!! GO BENJI!


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Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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