Finalists In The Men's Olympic Marathon Swim 10 km

Finalists In The Men’s Olympic Marathon Swim 10 km

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

FINA formally announced the final list of the 50 athletes (25 men and 25 women) who will compete in the Olympic Marathon Swimming 10km races at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The finalists were selected at the FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier held in Setúbal Bay, Portugal this weekend where a tough new medal contender emerged: the 2008 Olympic 1500m gold medalist Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia who comfortably won the Qualifier.

Mellouli swam a strategic race, playing to his strengths, over another strong medal contender Richard Weinberger of Canada. Petar Stoychev, who has done nearly everything in the sport will also be one of the headliners with a strong 3rd place finish. This will be Stoychev’s fourth Olympics.

A few new countries will also be represented on the Olympic stage in the marathon swim: Tunisia with Oussama Mellouli, Canada with Richard Weinberger, Japan with Yasunari Hirai, Ecuador with Ivan Enderica Ochoa, Kazakhstan with Yuriy Kudinov, and Guam with Benjamin Schulte – excellent evidence of the sport’s global growth.

The two-stage qualification for the 2012 Olympic Games included the automatic selection of the fastest 10 swimmers at the 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai and the 15 remaining spots were decided this weekend.

In Portugal, the fastest 10 swimmers in each race were selected if they were the fastest of their country. The last five competitors were selected on a continental basis; that is, the fastest swimmer from Oceania, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. The host country, Great Britain, also selected its male representative, Daniel Fogg, in Portugal.

The men’s finalists in a tough, tough field with several medal contenders include:

1. Spyridon Gianniotis (GRE)
2. Thomas Lurz (GER)
3. Sergey Bolshakov (RUS)
4. Alex Meyer (USA)
5. Ky Hurst (AUS)
6. Francisco Jose Hervas (ESP)
7. Brian Ryckeman (BEL)
8. Julien Sauvage (FRA)
9. Vladimir Dyatchin (RUS)
10. Andreas Waschburger (GER)
11. Oussama Mellouli (TUN)
12. Richard Weinberger (CAN)
13. Petar Stoychev (BUL)
14. Valerio Cleri (ITA)
15. Troyden Prinsloo (RSA)
16. Yasunari Hirai (JPN)
17. Igor Chervynskiy (UKR)
18. Ivan Enderica Ochoa (ECU)
19. Arseniy Lavrentyev (POR)
20. Yuriy Kudinov (KAZ)
21. Erwin Maldonado (VEN)
22. Csaba Gercsak (HUN)
23. Mazen Aziz (EGY)
24. Daniel Fogg (GBR)
25. Benjamin Schulte (GUA)

The 25 finalists in the women’s race are posted here.

However, there is still an outstanding issue as to which marathon swimmers will line up at the start in London. Find out more about this issue here.

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones