12 out of the first 20 qualifiers for open water swimming at the 2016 Olympic Games will participate in the official test event this weekend in Rio de Janeiro, but no Americans will be among them.
The United States’ three swimmers who will race at the Olympic Games (Haley Anderson, Jordan Wilimovsky, and Sean Ryan) have all chosen to skip the event.
The races that will take place at Fort Copacabana and will be held on Saturday August 22nd (men’s event) and August 23rd (women’s event).
15 women and 18 men will compete in the event. The full start lists are below, with asterisks next to those swimmers who have already qualified for the Olympic Games.
The list includes the defending World Champion in the women’s 10k Auréle Muller. The men’s 10k World Champion, American Jordan Wilimovsky, is skipping the race. The only male World’s 10k medalist who will be racing is Dutch swimmer Ferry Weertmann.
Also racing will be Japan’s Yasunari Hirai, who was 11th at Worlds and will be a major contender to grab one of the 15 remaining spots for men at the Olympic Games.
While this Olympic test event is designed to both test facilities and simultaneously to give athletes an opportunity to experience the venues and in this case the race course.
Several reports have come out about the quality of water where the open water, sailing, rowing, and other water-based events are to be held in Rio indicating that there is a potential health risk to athletes. That wasn’t enough to postpone the test event, however, after FINA president Julio Maglione said that water quality is “not a big problem at the moment) two weeks ago.
USA Swimming says that the decision to compete at the test event was up to the individual athletes.
“USA Swimming has spoken with the athletes about the water situation in Rio, from what we know from news reports and through conversations with the USOC,” a spokesperson said. “The ultimate decision on whether to attend is determined by the athlete.”