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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sam de Bona, Poliana Okimoto Are King, Queen Of The Sea

Samuel de Bona was focused. He was the anchor.

With people lining the course at the King and Queen of the Sea final event and a large live television audience counting on a Team Brazil victory, he had to be. His teammate Poliana Okimoto had hung in tough with Keri-Anne Payne on the second-to-last lap and de Bona entered the water only a few meters behind leading Chad Ho of South Africa.

"The first lap [of three 500m laps] was fast, but then the second lap really hurt," said the world championship bronze medalist. "On the last lap, I went out with Valerio and Chad until the blue [half-way] buoy. Then I picked it up and swam past Valerio. I just kept up the pace until the end and no one came up to me."

The male-female 2-person relay had all kinds of lead changes and strategic moves throughout the 40-minute race. "It was fun to do a relay and then watch it and then get back in and swim," said Aaron Peirsol of the sixth-place American team. "It was different. These [open water] athletes can swim well and they are really passionate about their sport."

"It was important that we win in front of our home crowd," commented world champion Okimoto who was nominated for Brazil's top athlete of 2013. "Everyone is excited about the Rio Olympics and it is good to win this international competition."

"It was intense," smiled Xavier Deshamais of the fast-charging fourth-place Canadian team.

"It is supposed to be a fun competition, so I swam wide around the turn buoys. But [the other swimmer] did not do me the same favor. But it was good and we did well enough."

The final results:

1. Team Brazil: Samuel de Bona and Poliana Okimoto 40:49.74
2. Team South Africa: Chad Ho and Keri-Anne Payne 40:55.08
3. Team Italy: Valerio Cleri and Alice Franco: 40:55.57
4. Team Canada: Xavier Deshamais and Zsofia Balazs 40:58.07
5. Team Japan: Yasunari Hirai and Kaoru Yamanaka 41:49.00
6. Team USA: Aaron Peirsol and Ashley Twichell 41:53.69
7. Team Argentina: Guillermo Bertola and Pilar Geijo 41:56.07

TV Globo and the Travel Channel were on the 2016 Rio Olympic marathon swimming course for the special live television program and final event of the King and Queen of the Sea (Desafio Rei e Rainha do Mar in Portuguese).

The Desafio Rei e Rainha do Mar event was captured live by 9 television cameras (2 in the water, 1 underwater, 1 in a quadcopter, 1 on a crane, 2 on a television tower and 2 handheld cameras).

For more information, visit here.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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