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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Open Water Swimming Olympians To Be Crowned Today

The women's 2012 FINA Olympic 10km Marathon Swimming Qualifier will be held today in Portugal's Setubal Bay at 4 pm Portugal time (or 8 am Los Angeles time, 9 am Denver time, 10 am Mexico City, 11 am New York time, 5 pm Amsterdam / Cape Town time, 11 pm Beijing / Kuala Lumpur time, 12 midnight Tokyo time, 1 am Brisbane on Sunday).

Setubal is essentially a swim-off within a race within a qualifier: it is the ultimate strategic head-to-head competition.

Athletes will be racing against their teammates for only the fastest in each country has a chance to go. The top 10 have a chance to qualify for the Olympics, if they are the fastest of their country. Then, in a complicated formula, the top finisher in each of the 5 continents will qualify. For example, if there is no athlete from the continent from Africa in the top 10 finishers, then the fastest swimmer from the continent of Africa will qualify. [Note: in this case, it is practically a race between the Egyptian and South Africans). The five continents include the Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe and Oceania.

The stakes, the pressure and the pay-off could not be higher.

The following 41 women are entered and ready to enter this battle: no lanes, no lines, no walls...no mercy in 61°F (16°C) water. The colder-than-expected water has the potential to dramatically change the dynamics of the race for the following reasons:

1. The women will be cold at the start and they will push the pace early in an attempt to stay warm.
2. The faster women from warm-weather climates who have been competitive in warmer waters will soon fall off the pace after 45-60 minutes.
3. The closing sprint will have fewer position changes than normal because the ability to sprint and shift gears after two hours in the colder water will be reduced.

Inha Kotsur (AZE)
Nadine Williams vs. Zsofia Balazs (CAN)
Xue Li vs. Yanqiao Fang (CHN)
Karla Sitic (CRO)
Alexandra Philippa Panayides vs. Irene Kyza (CYP)
Nataly Caldas Calle (ECU)
Laila El-Bassiouni (EGY)
Ophelie Aspord vs. Corali Codvelle (FRA)
Wing Yung Natasha Terri Tang vs. Fiona On-Yi Chan (HKG)
Anna Olasz vs. Eva Risztov (HUN)
Yumi Kida (JPN)
Rania El Abdi vs. Omaima Moufid (MAR)
Heidi Gan (MAS)
Lizeth Rueda Santos vs. Alejandra Gonzalez Lara (MEX)
Maaike Waaijer vs. Linsy Heister (NED)
Charlotte Webby vs. Cara Baker (NZL)
Natalia Charlos (POL)
Daniela Pinto vs. Angélica André (POR)
Jessica Roux vs. Natalie du Toit (RSA)
Anna Guseva vs. Ekaterina Seliverstova (RUS)
Zupan Teja (SLO)
Ellen Olsson (SWE)
Olga Beresnyeva vs. Al'Ona Berbasova (UKR)
Haley Anderson vs. Ashley Twichell (USA)
Yanel Pinto vs. Carla Díaz (VEN)

Watch the swim-offs and Olympic qualification races live on Portuguese television (here) or online (here or here today at 4 pm Portugal time (or 8 am Los Angeles time, 9 am Denver time, 10 am Mexico City, 11 am New York time, 5 pm Amsterdam / Cape Town time, 11 pm Beijing / Kuala Lumpur time, 12 midnight Tokyo time, or 1 am Brisbane on Sunday) today.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

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