Can We Go Watch The Olympic 10K Marathon Swim?

Can We Go Watch The Olympic 10K Marathon Swim?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The women’s and men’s Olympic 10K Marathon Swim will be held in Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo Bay on August 4th and 5th.

I think the races will be the fastest, most competitive open water race in Olympic history,” predicted Steven Munatones. “While the water will be very warm, the world’s fastest distance swimmers have been training for these conditions for two years. The race is held in an easy-to-navigate rectangular course, there will be no real wind or waves to speak of. We plan to broadcast a number of podcasts from the Tokyo Games – about the ambiance in Tokyo, about the course and conditions, and talking with as many the swimmers and coaches as possible.

But it is unsure if we can do so with the current restrictions in place. A decision will be made in late March or April about if foreign fans and spectators will be allowed to view the Olympics.”

The Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun reported on an inside source to said that foreign fans will not be allowed at the Tokyo Olympics. Recently named Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee president Seiko Hashimoto hinted something similar when she responded to the report, “If the situation is tough and it would make the [Japanese] consumers concerned, that is a situation we need to avoid from happening.”

While the Tokyo Olympics will open on July 23rd, an inside source said, “In the current situation it is impossible to bring in foreign spectators.”

The IOC president Thomas Bach, who understands that a vast majority of the host Japanese oppose the Summer Games and the Paralympics, has said, “We will focus on the essentials. That means mainly the competitions. This has to be the clear focus. In this respect we may have to set one or another priority.”

Over 11,000 Olympic athletes and 4,400 Paralympians, along with tens of thousands of coaches, judges, sponsors, media and VIPs, plan to visit Tokyo. While some national Olympic committees are getting athletes vaccinated, the IOC does not require vaccinations and not all National Governing Bodies require vaccinations and there are some Olympic athletes who publicly against getting vaccinated. The IOC said it encourages vaccinations but will not require them.

Currently, the plan is to isolate athletes in the Olympic Village that is located alongside the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in Tokyo Bay, and establish a bubble during the time they arrive to when they leave Japan.

Committee president Hashimoto said a decision on venue capacity will be made by the end of April. “We need to look at the overall situation before we decide on any percentage rates. We believe we will not be accepted unless the citizens feel confident that sufficient countermeasures are taken.” At present, three options are being considered for the Olympics: (1) Having no limit on the number of spectators, (2) Imposing a 50% maximum of the capacity of spectators, and (3) holding events without spectators.

Munatones observed, “Like many issues during the pandemic – from quarantines to vaccines, from transmission rates and COVID-19 treatments, from safety procedures to travel restrictions, things change monthly, weekly, even daily. We have a business and office in Tokyo, so we plan to be there whether or not spectators are limited, but no one really knows what will happen in Tokyo in July, August and September for the Olympics and Paralympics.

Hashimoto predicts the same, “The biggest challenges include the countermeasures against COVID-19. Nobody can foresee how the situation will be this summer.”

The following 20 male and female athletes qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games at the 2019 FINA World Swimming Championships 10 km marathon swim held in Yeosu EXPO Ocean Park in Gwangju, South Korea in July 2019:

1. Florian Wellbrock (Germany) 1:47:55.90
2. Marc-Antoine Olivier (France) 1:47:56.10
3. Rob Muffels (Germany) 1:47:57.40
4. Kristóf Rasovszky (Hungary) 1:47:59.50
5. Jordan Wilimovsky (USA) 1:48:01.00
6. Gregorio Paltrinieri (Italy) 1:48:01.00
7. Ferry Weertman (Netherlands) 1:48:01.90
8. Alberto Martinez (Spain) 1:48:02.20
9. Mario Sanzullo (Italy) 1:48:04.70
10. David Aubry (France) 1:48:05.10

1. Xin Xin (China) 1:54:47.20
2. Haley Anderson (USA) 1:54:48.10
3. Rachele Bruni (Italy) 1:54:49.90
4. Lara Grangeon (France) 1:54:50.00
5. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil) 1:54:50.50
6. Ashley Twichell (USA) 1:54:50.50
7. Kareena Lee (Australia) 1:54:50.50
8. Finnia Wunram (Germany) 1:54:50.70
9. Leonie Beck (Germany) 1:54:51.00
10. Sharon van Rouwendaal (Netherlands) 1:54:51.10

Copyright © 2008 – 2021 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Steven Munatones