Living Large With Liivand

Living Large With Liivand

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The second and final FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier will be held in Parque Urbano de Albarquel in Setúbal Bay, Portugal on June 19th (women) and 20th (men).

The top 10 swimmers qualified for the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim at the 2019 FINA World Championships. The remaining 15 swimmers will qualify in Setúbal Bay to capture one of the 15 remaining spots to compete in Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo Bay at the upcoming Olympics next week in Portugal.

The eyes of Estonia will be on Merle Liivand, a competitive breaststroker, ocean advocate, and marathon swimming mermaid swimmer, who will compete against 43 other swimmers from 29 countries. She has some pretty tough rivals including Alice Dearing and Danielle Huskisson of Great Britain, Cecilia Biagioli, a 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympian from Argentina, Stephanie Horner, a 2016 Olympian from Canada, Samantha Arévalo, a 2016 Olympian from Ecuador, Anna Olasz, a 2016 Olympian from Hungary, Eva Fabian, a two-time world championship medalist from Israel (who previously represented the USA), Yumi Kida, a 2012 and 2016 Olympian from Japan, Michelle Weber, a 2016 Olympian from South Africa, Spela Perse, a 2016 Olympian from Slovenia, and Paola Perez, a 2016 Olympian from Venezuela.

For more information about Liivand, visit

Merle Liivand broke her own world record by completing a 30 km Mermaid Swim in 9 hours 19 minutes on April 17th 2021 in the choppy waters of Miami Beach, Florida. It was her third consecutive record-setting swim after her 10 km Mermaid Swim in Redondo Beach, California in 2 hours 54 minutes in 2019 and her 6 hour 8 minute 20.6 km Mermaid Swim in South Point Park Pier in Miami in 2020.

FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier Women’s Entry List:

  1. Majda Chebaraka, Algeria
  2. Souad Nefissa Cherouati, Algeria
  3. Cecilia Biagioli, Argentina [shown above]
  4. Romina Soledad Inwinkelried, Argentina
  5. Johanna Enkner, Austria
  6. Stephanie Horner, Canada
  7. Kate Farley Sanderson, Canada
  8. Mahina Nicole Valdivia Dannenberg, Chile
  9. Catarina Ferreira, Cape Verde
  10. Alena Benesova, Czech Republic
  11. Lenka Sterbova, Czech Republic
  12. Samantha Arévalo, Ecuador
  13. Maria de Valdes, Spain
  14. Paula Ruiz Bravo, Spain
  15. Merle Liivand, Estonia
  16. Alice Dearing, Great Britain
  17. Danielle Huskisson, Great Britain
  18. Pac Tung Nikita Lam, Hong Kong
  19. Tsz Yin Nip, Hong Kong
  20. Anna Olasz, Hungary
  21. Reka Rohacs, Hungary
  22. Eva Fabian, Israel
  23. Yumi Kida, Japan
  24. Minami Niikura, Japan
  25. Milana Boldyreva, Kazakhstan
  26. Mariya Fedotova, Kazakhstan
  27. Maria Jose Mata Cocco, Mexico
  28. Martha Sandoval, Mexico
  29. Maria Bramont-Arias, Peru
  30. Klaudia Tarasiewicz, Poland
  31. Angelica Andre, Portugal
  32. Stephanie Houtman, South Africa
  33. Michelle Weber, South Africa
  34. Anastasiia Kirpichnikova, Russia
  35. Ekaterina Sorokina, Russia
  36. Sofie Frichot, Seychelles
  37. Li-Shan Chantal Liew, Singapore
  38. Spela Perse, Slovenia
  39. Pimpun Choopong, Thailand
  40. Katawan Teeka, Thailand
  41. Yi-Chen Wang, Chinese Taipei
  42. Krystyna Panchishko, Ukraine
  43. Lilian Hernandez, Venezuela
  44. Paola Perez, Venezuela

The 15 qualifying swimmers from Setúbal Bay will join the following 10 finalists 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

Copyright © 2008 – 2021 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Steven Munatones