Great Britain’s Daniel Fogg tried to match his country-mate Keri-Anne Payne‘s feat from yesterday and win the men’s 10km gold, but ultimately was unable to hold on to his lead.
Fogg went out hard early and tried to push the pace. But he ended up swimming a good chunk of the early race all by himself, while his competitors demonstrated why in the men’s race the pace usually slow.
The three medalists in the race, meanwhile, hung back and made their move in the final 200 meters or so, similar to what we saw in the women’s race. And while it looked like Germany’s Thomas Lurz, who was probably the favorite entering the race, was going to win, he was passed at the final lunge by Greece’s Spyros Gianniotis, who ended with the gold medal. Lurz took 2nd, about 2.5 seconds back, and Russia’s Sergey Bolshakov finished 3rd, about 8 seconds off of the win.
The top American finisher was Alex Meyer, who placed 4th. He was only .8 seconds away from a medal, but absent that, becoming the first American to officially qualify for the Olympics is a solid consolation prize. Meyer’s best race, the 25k where he’s the 2010 World Champion, is yet to come. While that marathon swim is a whole different animal, for Meyer to finish this well in his off race bodes very well for him.
The other American, Sean Ryan, finished 25th, which means he won’t earn a spot on the open water team for the 2012 Olympics.
Fogg, who started out so strong, faded all the way back to 16th place, but it took a lot of guts for him to go out the way he did, and for that he should be commended. Shockingly, 2010 World Champion Valerio Cleri of Italy finished 11th, which means he will have to come back in December to earn his spot at the Olympics.
Top 10 Finishers, Olympic Qualifiers
1. Spyros Gianniotis (Greece)
2. Thomas Lurz (Germany)
3. Sergey Bolshakov (Russia)
4. Alex Meyer (USA)
5. Ky Hurst (Australia)
6. Francisco Jose Hervas Jodar (Spain)
7. Brian Ryckeman (Belgium)
8. Julien Sauvage (France)
9. Vladimir Dyatchin (Russia)
10. Andreas Waschburger (Germany)
The 10 swimmers listed above have earned automatic berths to the 2012 London Olympics. This means that, unlike the women’s race, two countries will have two swimmers in the Olympic race: Russia and Germany. For the other 6 countries with a top 10 finisher, those will be their lone entrants for London. The rest of the countries will send their swimmers to December’s Olympic qualifier in Portugal.
In that race, I’d expect both Fogg and Cleri to earn their way to the Olympics. At that trial, only one swimmer from each country can qualify.
Full Results will be linked here when they are available.