Ous Mellouli Golden in Olympic 10K Open Water

Mike Lewis / OlaVistaPhotography.com

The men came out charging in the 10K open water swim in the Serpentine Lake in London’s Hyde park.   Tunisia’s 2008 Gold Medalist and 2012 Bronze medalist Ous Mellouli set out to push the group and led most of the way setting a blistering pace – averaging 1:05 per 100m.   The pace dropped significantly on lap two and things ere much more bunched up with the pack sometimes more wide than deep.

This all changed on the 3rd lap as Mellouli again picked up the pace.   At the mid point of the race the swimmers were averaging 1:07.   2008 Olympic Coach John Dussliere noted that the pace Beijing was actually faster at this point in the race.

German’s Andreas Waschburger started really hammering down on the 5th lap and looked as though he might break away heading down the back stretch.

Ous Mellouli made his move about two thirds through the 5th lap and took four other’s with him.   It was clear at this point the Mellouli’s pool strength transferred very well to the 10K.  Mellouli skiped the feed on the 5th lap and that was the move that closed the deal.    A clear pack of 3 follow Mellouli and undoubtedly being the last on in that group would hurt.    Yet as the final lap progressed it become more and more clear that this was Mellouli’s race to lose.   With 800 meters to go Richard Weinberger (CAN), Thomas Lurz  (GER) and Spyridon Gianniotis  (GRE)were racing for the 2nd position – or perhaps more likely, racing not to get 4th.

In the end Ous Mellouli simply owned this race .    His final lap was at a 1:05/100m pace.   Open water veteran Thomas Lurz won the silver -bettering his Beijing result by one spot – and became the first man two win 2 Olympic medals in open water swimming.   And is was Canada’s Richard Weinberger sliding into the bronze proving his win at the 2011 test event was no fluke.   Mellouli’s win brought two open water medals back to Trojan Swim Club where both he and yesterday’s silver medalist Haley Anderson train.   This was also his second medal of the games – he won the bronze in the 1500m free.

Mike Lewis / OlaVistaPhotography.com


Mike Lewis / OlaVistaPhotography.com

Follow contributor Mike Lewis on Twitter, @Mike2Swim

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Joel Lin

Bravo Ous. The first man in history to win a medal in the pool and in the open water in the same Olympics. And he will likely stand for a long time as the only man to win gold in the pool and in the open water.

I hope more “pool-only” swimmers follow Ous’s lead. What an awesome double between his exceptional pool 1500 and this blistering 10K. With OW 10k gaining popularity, Sun Yang, and young female stars like Ledecky, could we be finally seeing a resurgence of interest in distance swimming?


And Eva Ristov’s Olympic schedule was the 10K open water, and then in the pool, she swam the 400M free (4:09) 800M free (8:29) and as what looked like an emergency fill-in for Hungary’s 4×100 free relay. (58ish)

I suspect that it’s still going to be uncommon to see a swimmer in both the 4×100 FR and the 10K in the same world level meet.


Mellouli and Anderson make a pretty compelling argument that lower volume training can work for distance swimmers.


Would love to hear what they did the two years leading to the games. Chances are the volume was up, you need SOMETHING to finish a 10k after all, but my expectation is that it wasn’t ridiculous. Congrats Ous!


Congrats to Ous and Sprint Salo!!!

“Would love to hear what they did the two years leading to the games. Chances are the volume was up” –

Doubt it!!!


Care to expand on your position? Perhaps you know more about Dr. Salo’s training Ous for the 10K?

M Dressman

Obviously you have never observed Melloui’s high altitude training sessions in France — there anything but LOW VOLUME.

About Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis is a freelance commercial, sport and lifestyle photographer based in San Diego.  Mike began making photos in the early 80’s and immersed himself in all aspects of the photographic arts.  Mike’s professional career in in photography began after 12 years working within the United States Olympic movement; he …

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