Zu Wins, China Sweeps Olympic 10K Marathon Quals

Zu Wins, China Sweeps Olympic 10K Marathon Quals

Aerial photos from the last 10 minutes of the race are courtesy of FINA.

Lijun Zu completed a sweep for China at today’s Olympic 10K Marathon Swim qualification race in Portugal’s Setúbal Bay.

Similar to his teammate, Xin Xin who came back to out-sprint Keri-Anne Payne on the women’s side [in 1:55:12.1], Zu was swimming in the middle of a huge pack with less 10 minutes remaining in the race. At that point, it was anyone’s race to win.

Zu started to turn up his stroke and knocked off swimmers one-by-one. His kick continued and he won by a body and a half over Germany’s Christian Reichert and Ecuador’s Ivan Enderica Ochoa who were pushing him until the end.

Zu said, “Today, I felt very good. The conditions were perfect. [I wanted] to follow the first group, save some energy, and then go. I am involved in open water swimming for ten years now, so this is a nice reward.”

Reichert not only had to finish among the top swimmers, but he also had to beat teammate Andreas Waschburger in order to qualify for the Olympics. “The goal was of course the Olympic qualification, so the second place was a kind of bonus. I tried to stay in the pack in the first half of the race, and then I managed my effort until the end.”

Enderica similarly had to beat teammate Esteban Salgado Enderica as well as finish among the top in the 6-lap race. “I can say I did a very intelligent race here. The tactics was to progressively improve my position after each lap [respectively 52, 50, 40, 26 and 12], and then swim very fast in the last split. It’s a double emotion for me, as my brother is my coach, so it’s a kind of team qualification for Rio. There, I would be happy to be in the top 8. I know it’s difficult, but nothing is impossible.”

Long-time veterans Evgenii Drattcev of Russia and Chad Ho of South Africa will also be returning to the Olympics after competing in the inaugural 10 km marathon swim in Beijing in 2008, but barely missing out in qualifying for London in 2012. Jarrod Poort and Yasunari Hirai will be returning for the second time.

Most athletes had their eyes on defending Olympic 10K Marathon Swimming champion Ous Mellouli who led during the early stages of the race. The Tunisian medalist described the race, “My goal was to secure a place for Rio. This is now done. However, it was a very physical race, with a lot of contact between the swimmers. It was tough. [I wanted to] be in the leading group as much as possible, be careful when turning at the buoys, save some energy for the final meters, and accelerate in the end. It paid off, and I am quite happy to be swimming in the magical scenario of the Copacabana Beach.”

But he also knows that the race in Copacabana Beach will be different (i.e., faster). “In Brazil, it will be a very different race, with a solid group of 25 swimmers. It will definitely be faster.”

Official Results:
1. Lijun Zu, CHN 1:52:18.2
2. Christian Reichert, GER 1:52:20.40
3. Ivan Enderica Ochoa, ECU 1:52:22.60
4. Evgenii Drattcev, RUS 1:52:22.70
5. Ous Mellouli, TUN 1:52:24.80
6. Richard Nagy, SVK 1:52:24.80
7. Jarrod Poort, AUS 1:52:24.90
8. Andreas Waschburger, GER 1:52:25.40
9. Simon Huitenga, AUS 1:52:28.10
10. Yasunari Hirai, JPN 1:52:31.20
11. Chad Ho, RSA 1:52:31.60
12. Ventsislav Aydaski, BUL 1:52:32.30
13. Esteban Salgado Enderica, ECU 1:52:42.40
14. Mark Papp, HUN 1:52:42.40
15. Antonio Arroyo Perez, ESP 1:52:44.60
16. Kirill Abrosimov, RUS 1:52:46.00
17. Yohsuke Miyamoto, JPN 1:52:48.70
18. Erwin Maldonado, VEN 1:52:49.10
19. Kane Radford, NZL 1:52:52.80
20. Igor Chervynskiy, UKR 1:52:54.40
21. Jan Micka, CZE 1:52:54.40
22. Shuyi Liu, CHN 1:52:59.60
23. Guillermo Vittorio Bertola, ARG 1:53:05.40
24. Vitaliy Khudyakov, KAZ 1:53:51.20
25. Damián Blaum, ARG 1:53:53.10
26. Arturo Perez Vertti Ferrer, MEX 1:54:11.10
27. Gustavo Giovanni Gutierrez Lozano, PER 1:54:12.60
28. Rafael Lourenco Gil, POR 1:54:13.40
29. Mateusz Jakub Sawrymowicz, POL 1:54:13.40
30. Evgenij Pop Acev, MKD 1:54:15.30
31. Marwan Ahmed Aly Morsy Elamrawy, EGY 1:54:16.00
32. Daniel Delgadillo Faisal, MEX 1:54:18.80
33. Davy Billiau Bebel, BEL 1:54:19.20
34. Phillip Ryan, NZL 1:54:27.20
35. Krzysztof Pawel Pielowski, POL 1:54:29.00
36. Vasco Miguel Sousa Silva Marques Gasper, POR 1:54:30.50
37. Igor Snitko, UKR 1:54:31.40
38. Matthias Schweinzer, AUT 1:54:41.50
39. Troyden Prinsloo, RSA 1:54:42.90
40. Yuval Safra, ISR 1:55:23.50
41. Christopher Robert Bryan, IRL 1:55:27.70
42. Haythem Abdelkhalek, TUN 1:56:52.50
43. Pol Gil Tarazona, ESP 1:56:53.50
44. Jan Kutnik, CZE 1:58:24.70
45. Tamas Farkas, SRB 1:58:39.20
46. Matthew David Lowe, BAH 2:01:55.40
47. Oskar Norstrand, SWE 2:01:55.40
48. Soon Choy Kevin Yeap, MAS 2:02:09.10
49. Youssef Hossameldeen Khalil Hossameldeen, EGY 2:02:30.00
50. Kenessary Kenenbayev, KAZ 2:05:40.70
51. Singha Chau, HKG 2:10:11.20
52. Chin Ting Keith Sin, HKG 2:10:44.40
53. Said Saber, MAR 2:10:50.60
DSQ Shai Toledano, ISR
DSQ Diego Armando Vera Delgado, VEN
DSQ Gergely Gyurta, HUN
DNF Rameshsingh Padamsingh Tamatta, IND
OTL Rohan Dattatrey More, IND
OTL Sejin Kim, KOR
DNF Tanakrit Kittiya, THA
DNF Nicolas Martin Culela Magnani, URU

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