TOKYO 2020 SUMMER OLYMPICS – OPEN WATER SWIMMING
- August 4-5, 2021
- Oadaiba Marine Park, Tokyo, Japan
- SwimSwam Event Preview
- Race start times:
- Women’s 10K, Wednesday @ 6:30AM (Tokyo time – 5:30PM on Tuesday US Eastern Time)
- Men’s 10K, Thursday @ 6:30AM (Tokyo time – 5:30PM on Wednesday US Eastern Time
Less than a week after finishing 3rd in the pool during the men’s 1500 free, Florian Wellbrock won gold the men’s 10k Open Water race at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He finished the race 25 seconds ahead of silver-medalist Kristof Rasovszky of Hungary for the top spot. Italy’s Gregorio Paltinieri finished third for the bronze medal.
Earlier in the Games, Wellbrock and Paltinieri swam the 800 and 1500-meter free, with Wellbrock earning bronze in the 1500 and Paltrinieri silver in the 800 in the pool. They came back for the open water race, ready to show off their endurance.
Wellbrock led for the entirety of the race. At the end of lap 5 of 7, he was only 3 seconds ahead of Rasovszky who was in second. In the final three kilometers, he increased his pace steadily until no other competitor could catch him, finishing in 1:48.33.7.
The race for second was much closer. Rasovszky and Paltrinieri battled it out in the final stretch for the silver medal. At the 9.5 km mark, Paltrinieri trailed the Hungarian by 9 seconds. He tried to catch him in the end, but he ultimately touched 2 seconds behind Rasovszky.
Rasovszky was the 2019 World champion in the men’s open water 5k and he finished 4th in the 10k. Wellbrock was the gold medalist in the 10k in Gwangju.
2016 Rio gold medalist Ferry Weertman of the Netherlands finished 7th in the race, right behind Frenchman Marc-Antoine Olivier who was third in Rio. Olivier finished second at the 2019 World Championships but missed the today podium by over a minute. Jordan Wilimovsky of the USA was third at Worlds but failed to finish in the top 8 in Tokyo, coming in 10th.
Ous Mellouli was also in today’s 10k open water race. The 2012 Olympic champion finished 20th. His attendance was uncertain in the days leading up to the Olympics due to a scandal between him, his mother, and the Tunisian Swimming Federation. He settled matters with the Federation a few days later and decided to compete in the race for his country.
Mellouli is the only swimmer to have won Olympic gold in both open water and pool swimming. He earned a bronze medal in the men’s 1500 the same year that he won the men’s 10k. Four years earlier, he won gold in the 1500 in Beijing.