To Podium And Swim...Or Move On?

To Podium And Swim…Or Move On?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Erika Villaécija García has been to 3 Olympics and finished 8th in the 2012 London Olympic Games in the 10 km marathon swim.

But the 31-year-old thought she was going to retire after her London performance, but the pool and open water continued to call her back.

After finishing 21st at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, she has to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Her road to Rio begins on February 27th in Abu Dhabi where she must finish among the top two Spanish swimmers so she can move on to the final Olympic 10K Marathon Swim qualification race in Setúbal Bay, Portugal.

Villaécija who has long represented Spain in the distance freestyle events in the pool knows that her final and best shot at stepping up to the Olympic podium is in the 10 km marathon swim in Rio.

She knows that the 2004 Athens Olympics were good for her while her performances in Beijing and London were disappointing. She has the tools – speed, endurance and strategy – to fulfill her long-held Olympic aspirations.

A Spanish-language article by Revista Open Water about her dreams and expectations is here.

2012 Olympic 10km Marathon Swim Results

GOLD Eva Risztov (HUN) 1:57:38.2
SILVER Haley Anderson (USA) 1:57:38.6
BRONZE Martina Grimaldi (ITA) 1:57:41.8
4. Keri-Anne Payne (GBR) 1:57:42.2
5. Angela Maurer (GER) 1:57:52.8
6. Ophelie Aspord (FRA) 1:58:43.1
7. Olga Beresnyeva (UKR) 1:58:44.4
8. Erika Villaecija (ESP) 1:58:49.5
9. Jana Pechanova (CZE) 1:58:52.8
10. Anna Guseva (RUS) 1:58:53.0
11. Melissa Gorman (AUS) 1:58:53.1
12. Karla Sitic (CRO) 1:58:54.7
13. Yumi Kida (JPN) 1:58:59.1
14. Yanel Pinto (VEN) 1:59:05.8
15. Natalia Charlos (POL) 1:59:58.7
16. Heidi Gan (MAS) 2:00:45.0
17. Cecilia Biagioli (ARG) 2:01:02.2
18. Zsofia Balazs (CAN) 2:01:17.8
19. Swann Oberson (SUI) 2:01:38.0
20. Wing Yung Natasha Terri Tang (HKG) 2:02:33.4
21. Lizeth Rueda Santos (MEX) 2:02:46.1
22. Marianna Lymperta (GRE) 2:04:26.5
Poliana Okimoto (BRA) DNF
Jessica Roux (RSA) DNF
Yanqiao Fang (CHN) DNS

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones