Looking Forward To the 2012 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim

Looking Forward To the 2012 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim

Swimming World Magazine raised the issue of swimsuits in its recent articles on the World Championships (here and here).

While the articles report on the swimsuits, we made additional observations that we believe are noteworthy – especially in the build-up to the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim qualifier in Shanghai.

These races in Roberval are considered by most coaches and athletes to be very good indicators of where they stand relative to their competitors – and what they can focus on over the next 12 months. While gold medalist Valerio Cleri said, “We [Italy] did not have expectations, but we have been training very hard.”

Our top 10 observations are as follows:

1. Italy is on the rise again – as it dominated the 10K distances. Italian swimmers are looking very good for 2011 and 2012 with Martina Grimaldi and Giorgia Consiglio, very tall and powerful swimmers going 1-2 in the women’s 10K, and Valerio Cleri (gold) and Luca Ferretti (5th), two gutsy swimmers.

2. America is also looking very good. Although Eva Fabian was disqualified, she was disqualified as she was leading the field with 700 meters to go while Christine Jennings (6th), Fran Crippen (4th) and Chip Peterson (7th) were in the top 10. With a number of other highly qualified swimmers not in Roberval (including Chloe Sutton, Emily Brunemann and Andrew Gemmell), America’s Olympic 10K hopefuls are a deep field which bodes very well for 2012 – and 2016 since its squad is relatively young.

3. Germany’s results were much lower than expected. World champion Thomas Lurz (6th), Christian Reichert (19th), Angela Maurer (4th) and Nadine Reichert (22nd).

4. Russian women were surprisingly disappointed in their usual top finishes with Olympic 10K gold medalist Larisa Ilchenko a DNF (did not finish) and Ekaterina Seliverstova (15th), but the Russian men are continuing the Russian presence at the top with silver medalist Evgeny Drattsev and bronze medalist Vladimir Dyatchin.

5. China is now a proven player on the world’s stage with the continued improvement of bronze medalist Yanqiao Fang who demonstrated a strong kick and the ability to withstand the pounding that comes within the women’s lead packs.

6. Brazil continues to be a force on the women’s side with fifth-place Ana Marcela Cunha and Poliana Okimoto who was red flagged while she was in the lead with American Eva Fabian down the final backstretch.

7. Great Britain may have had one disappointing series of swims with world champion Keri-Anne Payne (7th), Cassie Patten (14th) and two Did Not Finishes by Thomas Allen and Daniel Fogg, but the results in the cooler-than-expected water will most probably serve to inspire them to train even harder. In front of their home crowd in London, we suspect the British will perform extraordinarily well.

8. Mexico performed well with two 11th-place finishes (Rodrigo Elorza only 18 seconds from gold and Alejandra Gonzalez only 22 seconds from gold).

9. Australia has a star in Melissa Gorman, although she was disqualified on the final stroke where she had finished third. After winning the 2009 5K world championship, Melissa has stepped up to the 10K and will undoubtedly be a force in Shanghai, London and beyond.

10. The sport can always expect the unexpected. Here in Roberval, the cooler water temperatures took out some top swimmers who would have been in the hunt if the water were warmer. The placement of the buoys, the position in the water, an extra bump or collision here or there – and perhaps the medalists would have been from other countries.

So continue watching the highest echelon of open water swimming where anything can happen…and often does. As Valerio explained, we are sure that the world will be training extraordinarily hard as a result of Roberval – medalists and non-medalists alike.

Copyright © 2010 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones