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.
Follow contributor Mike Lewis on Twitter, @Mike2Swim