Men’s 10K Olympic Qualifier Breakdown: 25 Swimmers Set to Compete


Over the course of two big international competitions, the 25 swimmer field has been set for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Men’s Marathon Swim 10k. Earlier today, the 2016 Marathon Swimming Olympic Qualifier in Setubal, Portugal determined 15 of those swimmers. You can read a recap of the event here.

The FINA rules for Olympic qualification in the Open Water 10K are a bit confusing, so this post will explain the set field step by step.

Step one: The top 10 men and top 10 women at the 2015 World Championships in the 10K will earn an Olympic qualifying spot. Each nation can only qualify a maximum of two swimmers in each gender.

This part is pretty self-explanatory. To make it even easier, only two swimmers per country could compete in Kazan anyway, so the top ten swimmers at last year’s FINA World Championships qualify:

  • Jordan Wilimovsky, USA: 1:49:48.2
  • Ferry Weertman, Netherlands: 1:50:00.3
  • Spyridon Gianniotis, Greece: 1:50:00.7
  • Sean Ryan, USA: 1:50:03.3
  • Jack Burnell, Great Britain: 1:50:05.8
  • Marc-Antoine Olivier, France: 1:50:06.4
  • Simone Ruffini, Italy: 1:50:09.1
  • Richard Weinberger, Canada: 1:50:19.9
  • Allan Do Carmo, Brazil: 1:50:23.1
  • Federico Vanelli, Italy: 1:50:23.1

It’s important to note that once a country qualified a swimmer in Kazan, they were not allowed to send any swimmers to Setubal. On the women’s side, that meant that Becca Mann didn’t get another chance to make the open water Olympic team. That also ends up meaning that the only countries allowed two swimmers are those who placed two in the top ten in Kazan.

Step two: The nine best athletes from the 2016 FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier will directly qualify. Only nations that have no swimmer qualified through the 2015 FINA World Championships may compete. Each nation may qualify a maximum of one athlete per gender. One male and one female marathon swimmer from the host country if not previously qualified, will directly qualify.

Note that although FINA’s rules for qualification state that only nine swimmers will directly qualify by placing in the top at this event. However, because the host country (Brazil), already qualified Allan Do Cormo at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, another spot frees up in the total 25. So, the top 10 swimmers directly qualified in Setubal.

However, only one swimmer can qualify per country, so the second countryman who placed in the top 10 (represented with a strikethrough) was replaced by the next-fastest swimmer.

  • Lijun Zu, China: 1:52:18.2
  • Christian Reichert, Germany: 1:52:20.4
  • Ivan Enderica Ochoa, Ecuador: 1:52.22.6
  • Evgenii Drattcev, Russia: 1:52:22.7
  • Ous Mellouli, Tunisia: 1:52:24.8 **tie
  • Richard Nagy, Slovakia: 1:52:24.8 **tie
  • Jarrod Poort, Australia: 1:52:24.9
  • Andreas Waschburger, Germany: 1:52:25.4
  • Simon Huitenga, Australia: 1:52:28.1
  • Yasunari Hirai, Japan: 1:52:31.2
  • Chad Ho, South Africa: 1:52:31.6
  • Ventsislav Aydarski, Bulgaria: 1:52:32.3

Step three: The best ranked athlete in the FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier 2016 not yet qualified from each of the 5 continents will directly qualify, unless he is a from a previously-qualified nation. 

The other qualification provision ensures that there is at least one swimmer from each of the five continents represented at the Rio Olympic Games. So, after these ten, the top swimmer from each continent in the Setubal competition who has not already had a countryman qualify has also punched a ticket to the Games. The below swimmers are final and confirmed by FINA.

  • Mark Papp, Hungary: 1:52:42.4 (14th place) – Europe
  • Erwin Maldonado, Venezuela: 1:52:49.1 (18th place) – Americas
  • Kane Radford, New Zealand: 1:52:52.8 (19th place)- Oceania
  • Vitaliy Khudyakov, Kazakhstan: 1:53:51.2 (24th place)- Asia
  • Marwan Elamrawy, Egypt: 1:54:16.0 (31st place)- Africa

Take the top 10 athletes from Kazan, along with the top 10 (barring doubles from any country) in Setubal and the 5 continental qualifiers, and you have the Rio psych sheet.

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Been there.

It’s an aweful system that favors smaller, under-represented nations and continents rather than bringing together the best 25 swimmers in the world. All the old white haired men from fina love it though as it makes the world championships so important, which feeds their incredibly large, unearned egos. Unfortunately it waters down the field. 19th, 24th, 31st place get in the Olympic games and 11th, 12th, and 13th do not just so their lack-of-talent continents are represented at the games.


Congrats to Chad Ho. What a (self funded) journey! Good Luck in Rio.

About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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