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

After today’s 2016 Marathon Swimming Olympic Qualifier in Setubal, Portugal, another 15 athletes have punched their tickets to Rio (click link for full recap). The FINA rules for Olympic qualification in the Open Water 10K are a bit confusing, so explanations are included throughout.

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 we just take the top 10:

  • Aurelie Muller, France
  • Sharon van Rouwendall, Netherlands
  • Ana Marcela Cunha, Brazil
  • Rachele Bruni, Italy
  • Anastasiia Krapivina, Russia
  • Poliana Okimoto Cintra, Brazil
  • Isabelle Franziska Harle, Germany
  • Kalliopi Araouzou, Greece
  • Haley Anderson, USA
  • Eva Risztov, Hungary

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. 

While only Brazil qualified two athletes in Kazan, the other countries who had a Kazan swimmer qualify still don’t have an opportunity to fill that slot (hence no Becca Mann in Setubal). In addition, only the top ranked swimmer in Setubal can swim in Rio, so seventh-place Kareena Lee of Australia, ninth-place Danielle Huskisson of Great Britain, and 11th-place Siyu Yan of Japan were all out of the running. Here are the qualifiers from today (plus an extra since Brazil doesn’t need their host country slot):

  • Xin Xin, China
  • Keri-Anne Payne, Great Britain
  • Samantha Arévalo, Ecuador
  • Chelsea Gubecka, Australia
  • Yumi Kida, Japan
  • Michelle Weber, South Africa
  • Joanna Zachoszcz, Poland
  • Paola Perez, Venezuela
  • Spela Perse, Slovenia
  • Jana Pechanova, Czech Republic

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 she is a from a previously-qualified nation. In addition, one athlete of each gender from the host country, if not previously qualified, will directly qualify. 

Okay, so here’s the tough one. In order to ensure that each continent yields a competitor, this rule is in place. In this year’s case, we already have a swimmer from each continent, but this rule will give five extra swimmers from five new countries the chance to compete. (Since Brazil already qualified at least one athlete, the host country rule does not apply, leaving the quota at 24 athletes.)

So who are our final five swimmers? Let’s look at the results from Setubal today.

  1. Xin Xin, China
  2. Keri-Anne Payne, Great Britain
  3. Samantha Arévalo, Ecuador
  4. Chelsea Gubecka, Australia
  5. Yumi Kida, Japan
  6. Michelle Weber, South Africa
  7. Kareena Lee, Australia
  8. Joanna Zachoszcz, Poland
  9. Danielle Huskisson, Great Britain
  10. Paola Perez, Venezuela
  11. Siyu Yan, China
  12. Spela Perse, Slovenia

Okay, there are our top nine, with the duplicate countries removed.

14. Erika Villaecija, Spain- EUROPE

Pechanova is now our European qualifier, so no other European swimmers will be considered, and it goes on down the line.

15. Stephanie Horner, Canada – NORTH AMERICA

16. Vania Neves, Portugal

17. Jane Dusablon, Canada

18. Heidi Gan, Malaysia – ASIA

31. Charlotte Webby, New Zealand – OCEANIA

32. Reem Kaseem, Egypt – AFRICA

Take the 10 athletes from Kazan, along with the 10 from Setubal and the 5 continental qualifiers, and you have the psych sheet for Rio.

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Human Ambition

There COULD be a rolldown since the NOC has 7-10 days to accept or decline the invitation. Some countries has the policy that olympians must be able to reach the eight place.

Human Ambition

Rumours are that New Zeeland OC is not goint to take their continantal spot. If that would mean a rolldown benefitting Portugal or not, noone seems sure on.


So the 32nd place finisher from a 2nd tier last chance qualifying swim who finished 5+ minutes behind the winner goes to Rio and somebody like Becca Mann (or many others who are 1st or 2nd in their country) stays home. Way to go FINA. Sounds good to me (sarcasm, just in case you didn’t get that).

Human Ambition

That is not FINA. it is IOC. Same as in any other sport. That is what the five olympic rings is about, the continents.

Steve Crocker was third in the world and couldn’t go because Biondi and Jager was better. Swimmers like Finnia Wunram, Anna Olasz and Axel Reymond could be the best in the world this year but they missed the qualifications since Isabel Härle, Eva Risztov and Marc-André Olivier took their countryspots.


This was actually FINA. When the 10k was added to the Olympics FINA was the main stake in deciding the qualifying procedures.

Human Ambition

FINA had certain conditions. Every continent has to be invited to each event.

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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