Canada's Kate Sanderson Is Heading To The Tokyo Olympic Games

Canada’s Kate Sanderson Is Heading To The Tokyo Olympic Games

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Kate Farley Sanderson of Canada finished third in the final FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier in Parque Urbano de Albarquel in Setúbal Bay, Portugal to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, her first for the 21-year-old from Toronto. “It feels great, I’m really excited. It hasn’t really sunken in all the way yet. I’m really grateful and excited to be heading to Tokyo.”
Sanderson got herself to the front of the pack early on and kept herself there for the entire race, even leading the way for the third and fourth lap. In the end, Hungary’s Anna Olasz pulled slightly ahead and won by 3 seconds. She said, “It definitely felt a little different with everything outside of the race because of COVID, but overall once the race started I felt very comfortable, everything from open water started to come back to me. It was a tough field, I felt like I needed to put myself in a good spot at the beginning because I felt like that was the right thing to do so that was my strategy and I just continued to push the pace and hoped that after each lap I would get the field smaller so it would be a sprint to the finish. I’m really happy with how the race went.”

That was a fantastic race for Kate. There was obviously a strategy with her, myself, and her coach Brad Dingey, to basically swim her own race. It was a risky strategy but it paid off in the end,” said National Distance and Open Water Coach Mark Perry. “It was a really tough swim and tough conditions here. The water is not that warm and that is why it was a wetsuit race. However, it was a fantastic performance by her and I’m really pleased.
32-year-old Canadian teammate Stephanie Horner started off strong with the front pack and stayed with the group for the first three laps. After having dropped back a bit, the three-time Olympian ultimately finished 21st.

Due to the water temperature, the athletes were required to wear wetsuits. “It will be interesting to see the relative performance of the swimmers without a wetsuit – which will be the case in Tokyo in the very warm water of Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo Bay – compared to their performances with a wetsuit in the colder water of Setúbal Bay,” said Steven Munatones.

15 swimmers will qualify at the 2021 FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier. The final results:

  1. Anna Olasz, Hungary (27) 2:01:55.50
  2. Paula Ruiz Bravo, Spain (22) 2:01:58.00
  3. Kate Farley Sanderson, Canada (21) 2:01:58.40
  4. Alice Dearing, Great Britain (24) 2:02:01.20
  5. Angelica Andre, Portugal (26) 2:02:23.70
  6. Maria de Valdes, Spain (22) 2:02:49.50
  7. Cecilia Biagioli, Argentina (36) 2:02:52.20
  8. Anastasiia Kirpichnikova, Russia (20) 2:02:53.10
  9. Samantha Arévalo, Ecuador (26) 2:02:54.10
  10. Mafalda Rosa, Portugal (17) 2:02:54.90
  11. Spela Perse, Slovenia (24) 2:02:57.70
  12. Yumi Kida, Japan (35) 2:03:03.10
  13. Danielle Huskisson, Great Britain (28) 2:03:04.80
  14. Reka Rohacs, Hungary (21) 2:03:09.50
  15. Michelle Weber, South Africa (24) 2:03:12.10
  16. Romina Soledad Inwinkelried, Argentina (26) 2:03:13.00
  17. Paola Perez, Venezuela (30) 2:03:31.60
  18. Krystyna Panchishko, Ukraine (23) 2:04:20.90
  19. Minami Niikura, Japan (23) 2:04:55.60
  20. Johanna Enkner, Austria (21) 2:05:24.90
  21. Stephanie Horner, Canada (32) 2:05:29.30
  22. Eva Fabian, Israel (27) 2:05:29.50
  23. Alena Benesova, Czech Republic (23) 2:05:35.90
  24. Maria Jose Mata Cocco, Mexico (26) 2:07:16.40
  25. Maria Bramont-Arias, Peru (21) 2:08:14.40
  26. Lenka Sterbova, Czech Republic (26) 2:09:13.50
  27. Klaudia Tarasiewicz, Poland (17) 2:09:27.40
  28. Martha Sandoval, Mexico (22) 2:11:29.70
  29. Li-Shan Chantal Liew, Singapore (22) 2:12:19.50
  30. Souad Nefissa Cherouati, Algeria (32) 2:13:11.40
  31. Tsz Yin Nip, Hong Kong (21) 2:14:14.70
  32. Hania Moro, Egypt (24) 2:15:21.70
  33. Stephanie Houtman, South Africa (18) 2:16:32.60
  34. Sandy Atef, Egypt (21) 2:17:23.90
  35. Yi-Chen Wang, Chinese Taipei (21) 2:17:27.50
  36. Mahina Nicole Valdivia Dannenberg, Chile (25) 2:18:26.10
  37. Pac Tung Nikita Lam, Hong Kong (20) 2:21:16.30
  38. Lilian Hernandez, Venezuela (29) 2:24:19.20
  39. Pimpun Choopong, Thailand (25) 2:24:51.90
  40. Sofie Frichot, Seychelles (31) 2:26:34.00

The following 15 athletes are heading to the Olympic Games. The first 9 spots were distributed to National Federations with each country with one athlete. The best Japanese was also automatically qualified as host of the Olympics while the remaining 4 spots were split among continents (one each in Africa, Europe, Asia, America). So while Maria de Valdes of Spain finished sixth, because she was the second Spaniard, she did not qualify. The same was true for Mafalda Rose of Portugal and Danielle Huskisson of Great Britain and Reka Rohacs of Hungary.

  1. Anna Olasz (HUN) – qualified
  2. Paula Ruiz Bravo (ESP) – qualified
  3. Kate Sanderson (CAN) – qualified 
  4. Alice Dearing (GBR) – qualified
  5. Angelica Andre (POR) – qualified
  6. Cecilia Biagioli (ARG) – qualified
  7. Anastasia Kirpichnikova (RUS) – qualified
  8. Samantha Arevalo (ECU) – qualified
  9. Spela Perse (SLO) – qualified
  10. Yumi Kida (JPN) –  qualified
  11. Michelle Weber (RSA) –  qualified
  12. Paola Perez (VEN) – Americas continent qualifier
  13. Krystyna Panchishko (UKR) – European continent qualifier
  14. Li-Shan Chantal Liew (SGP) – Asian continent qualifier
  15. Souad Nefissa Cherouati (ALG) – African continent qualifier

The 15 qualifying swimmers from Setúbal Bay join the following 10 finalists in Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo Bay on August 4th (shown below with their qualification time and place):

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

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Steven Munatones