2024 Paris Olympic Marathon Swim Venue - The Seine

2024 Paris Olympic Marathon Swim Venue – The Seine

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games held the 10 km marathon swim in the Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo Bay, won by Germany’s Florian Wellbrock and Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha.  

Both gold medalists plan to be at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games which will apparently feature the first Olympic open water race since 1900 to be a point-to-point course. The 1896 course in Athens, Greece (at the Games of the I Olympiad) was held in the Bay of Zea off the Piraeus coast in the Aegean Sea and the 1900 course in Paris (at the Games of the III Olympiad) were held in the Seine River.

The point-to-point course – especially in the heart of Paris with the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame in full view – seems like the perfect setting for the Olympic marathon swim,” commented Steven Munatones. “What a grand venue for the world’s fastest marathon swimmers. Line them up and let them race down the Seine as thousands of spectators follow them from the river banks.

The loop courses of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2012 London Olympics, 2016 Rio Olympics, and 2020 Tokyo Olympics led to a lot of pack swimming, drafting, positioning, slowing down and speeding up during the race. The Paris course from Point A to Point B presents a totally different perspective and may demand alternative tactics. It will be interesting where in the river the swimmers will race: nearer to shore or in the deeper waters in the middle of the river? Will there be different packs swimming parallel to one another? Will there be two feeding pontoons on either side of the river – or somewhere in the middle?

While athletes in the Tokyo Olympics marathon swim faced very warm water, there were also early and valid concerns about the pollution in Tokyo Bay.

But the Japanese organizers and engineers figured out ways to reduce the pollution concerns.

The French organizers also aim to do the same. The French government have a €1 billion plan to make the Seine more swimmable in time for the Paris Olympics. That is, at least reduce the E.coli levels.  In preparing Paris for its third Olympic Games (following 1900 and 1924), the French are cleaning up their streets, improving their air quality, and transforming the Seine with the aim to enable Parisians to swim in it.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo budgeted money to target sewage pollution in the river, especially when Paris’s sewers are overwhelmed by stormwater. The cleaner water and walkways along the banks will be greatly appreciated by the locals and tourists – and the Olympic marathon swimmers scheduled to do the first point-to-point Olympic open water race in 124 years…passing by the Eiffel Tower, Musée du Louvre, Notre Dame, and the Musée d’Orsay in front of a vast global audience and thousands of spectators and fans on foot. 

The Musée d’Orsay is a museum in Paris, France, on the Left Bank of the Seine.

Steven Munatones predicts, “When we look at the medalists and athletes who competed in Tokyo at the 10 km marathon swim, I think a vast majority of them will be back. A few of them have retired – most notably, 2016 Olympic champion Ferry Weertman, and a few others may choose to retire sometime before 2024, but looking at the results and the upside of the athletes who competed in Tokyo, I think most of the athletes will be back – and will look forward to racing from point-to-point in the Seine in the middle of Paris in front of a global audience.”

Men’s 2020 Tokyo Oympic 10K Marathon Swim Results:

Gold: Florian Wellbrock (Germany, 23) 1:48:33.70
Silver: Kristóf Rasovszky (Hungary, 24) 1:48:59.00
Bronze: Gregorio Paltrinieri (Italy, 26) 1:49:01.10
4. Matan Roditi (Israel, 22) 1:49:24.90
5. Athanasios Kynigakis (Greece, 22) 1:49:29.20
6. Marc-Antoine Olivier (France, 25) 1:50:23.00
7. Ferry Weertman (Netherlands, 29) 1:51:30.80
8. Michael McGlynn (South Africa, 21) 1:51:32.70
9. Hau-Li Fan (Canada, 23) 1:51:37.00
10. Jordan Wilimovsky (USA, 27) 1:51:40.20
11. Rob Muffels (Germany, 26) 1:53:03.30
12. Kai Graeme Edwards (Australia, 22) 1:53:04.00
13. Taishin Minamide (Japan, 25) 1:53:07.50
14. Mario Sanzullo (Italy, 28) 1:53:08.60
15. David Farinango (Ecuador, 20) 1:53:09.80
16. Phillip Seidler (Namibia, 23) 1:53:14.10
17. Daniel Delgadillo (Mexico, 31) 1:53:14.40
18. Alberto Martinez (Spain, 23) 1:53:16.50
19. Kirill Abrosimov (Russian Olympic Committee, 29) 1:54:29.30
20. Ous Mellouli (Tunisia, 37) 1:56:33.30
21. Vitaliy Khudyakov (Kazakhstan, 26) 1:57:53.70
22. William Yan Thorley (Hong Kong, 18) 1:58:33.40
23. Tiago Campos (Portugal, 22) 1:59:42.00
24. Matej Kozubek (Czech Republic, 25) 2:01:52.10
DNF Hector Thomas Cheal Pardoe (Great Britain, 20)
DNF David Aubry (France, 24)

Women’s 2020 Tokyo Olympic 10K Marathon Swim Results:

1. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil, 29) 1:59:30.90
2. Sharon van Rouwendaal (Netherlands, 27) 1:59:31.70
3. Kareena Lee (Australia, 27) 1:59:32.50
4. Anna Olasz (Hungary, 27) 1:59:34.80
5. Leonie Beck (Germany, 24) 1:59:35.10
6. Haley Anderson (USA, 29) 1:59:36.90
7. Ashley Twichell (USA, 32) 1:59:37.90
8. Xin Xin (China, 24) 2:00:10.10
9. Lara Grangeon de Villele (France, 29) 2:00:57.0
10. Finnia Wunram (Germany, 25) 2:01:01.90
11. Samantha Arévalo (Ecuador, 26) 2:01:30.60
12. Cecilia Biagioli (Argentina, 36) 2:01:31.70
13. Yumi Kida (Japan, 36) 2:01:40.90
14. Rachele Bruni (Italy, 30) 2:02:10.20
15. Anastasiia Kirpichnikova (Russian Olympic Committee, 21) 2:03:17.50
16. Paula Ruiz Bravo (Spain, 22) 2:03:17.60
17. Angelica Andre (Portugal, 26) 2:04:40.70
18. Kate Farley Sanderson (Canada, 21) 2:04:59.10
19. Alice Dearing (Great Britain, 24) 2:05:03.20
20. Paola Perez (Venezuela, 30) 2:05:45.00
21. Michelle Weber (South Africa, 24) 2:06:56.50
22. Krystyna Panchishko (Ukraine, 23) 2:07:35.10
23. Li-Shan Chantal Liew (Singapore, 22) 2:08:17.90
24. Spela Perse (Slovenia, 25) 2:08:33.00
25. Souad Nefissa Cherouati (Algeria, 32) 2:17:21.60

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Steven Munatones