Swimming: China Tops Marathon Swimming Olympic Qualifiers

China won gold in both events at the 2016 Marathon Swimming Olympic Qualifier. In each event the top 10 highest ranked athletes, with a maximum of one athlete per nation qualified to the Olympics. Similarly the highest ranked eligible athlete from each continent also qualified to the Olympics. The Marathon Swimming Olympic Qualifier was held in Setubal, Portugal from June 11th to June 12th 2016.

In the women’s 10km race it was China’s Yan Siyu whom led the pack for the first two laps. She would go on to lose the lead with Poland’s Joanna Zachoszcz leading at the end of the third lap and her compatriot Xin Xin leading in the fourth and fifth laps, but she remained within the lead group. Going into the sixth and final lap the lead group was numbered at about 10. During the final lap three swimmers; Xin Xin, Great Britain’s Keri-Anne Payne and Ecuador’s Samantha Arevalo broke away and had a sprint swim towards the finish line where Xin finished ahead of Payne with a time of 1:55:12.1, just 0.8 seconds ahead. Arevalo won the bronze medal.

The top 10 eligible swimmers which qualified to the Olympics were;  Xin Xin (China), Keri-Anne Payne (Great Britain), Samantha Arevalo (Ecuador), Chelsea Gubecka (Australia), Yumi Kida (Japan), Michelle Weber (South Africa), Joanna Zachoszcz (Poland), Paola Perez (Venezuela), Spela Perse (Slovenia) and Jana Pechanova (Czech Republic). The five continental qualifiers were Erika Villaecija (Spain), Stephanie Horner (Canada), Heidi Gan (Malaysia), Charlotte Webby (New Zealand) and Reem Kaseem (Egypt).

The men’s 10km race saw multiple lead changes and had a lead group of about 20 athletes going into the final lap. As the final lap progressed the number of athletes in the lead group dwindled, until only China’s Zu Lijun remained as he won the race with a time of 1:52:18.2. 2.2 second later Germany’s Christian Reichert won the silver while Ecuador’s Ivan Enderica Ochoa won the bronze.

The top 10 eligible swimmers which qualified to the Olympics were; Zu Lijun (China), Christian Reichert (Germany), Ivan Enderica Ochoa (Ecuador), Evgenii Drattcev (Russia), Ous Mellouli (Tunisia), Richard Nagy (Slovakia), Jarrod Poort (Australia), Yasunari Hirai (Japan), Chad Ho (South Africa) and Ventsislav Aydarski (Bulgaria). The five continental qualifiers were Mark Papp (Hungary), Erwin Maldonado (Venezuela), Kane Radford (New Zealand), Vitaliy Khudyakov (Kazakhstan) and Marwan Elamrawy (Egypt).

This was the final opportunity to qualify in marathon swimming. Swimmers can still attempt to qualify to the pool events by reaching the qualification times.


Quotas by Nations

  • Australia – 2
  • China – 2
  • Ecuador – 2
  • Egypt – 2
  • Japan – 2
  • New Zealand – 2
  • South Africa – 2
  • Venezuela – 2
  • Bulgaria – 1
  • Canada – 1
  • Czech Republic – 1
  • Germany – 1
  • Great Britain – 1
  • Hungary – 1
  • Kazakhstan – 1
  • Malaysia – 1
  • Poland – 1
  • Russia – 1
  • Slovakia – 1
  • Slovenia – 1
  • Spain – 1
  • Tunisia – 1




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