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Monday, August 15, 2016

Scenes From The Women's Olympic 10K Marathon Swim

From the shores of Copacabana Beach to aerial footage from helicopters, the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim went off well enough despite the high surf that had destroyed the course pontoons only two days before.

The elite Olympic finalists made the navigation through the gently rolling swells and cross currents look easy. Their excellent navigational IQ was evident throughout the race.

The Olympic 10K Marathon Swim course and setting around Fort Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro was stunning under bright sunny skies. The fears and predictions of American media pundits who said the water quality in Copacabana Beach was up to 30,000 as bad as American beaches did not come to fruition.

The local organizers pulled things together nicely and professionally despite the challenges they faced with the rough water conditions and heavy surf in the days leading up to the women's race. While the VIP seats were totally empty, the shoreline of Copacabana Beach was filled as usual. Cheers from the Brazilians filled the airways as Poliana Okimoto was racing for a bronze medal...which she ultimately received after a disqualification call on Aurélie Muller on the very last strokes of the 10 km course.

The crescent-shaped shoreline of Copacabana Beach presented the first true open water challenge at the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim which had previously been conducted in a rowing basin in Beijing and manmade lake in London. The Atlantic Ocean offered ocean swells, surface turbulence and crossing currents that had not been part of the open water equation in 2008 and 2012.

Final race results of the women's Olympic 10K Marathon Swim are posted here.

Images courtesy of NBCOlympics.com on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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