London 2012 Swimming

Marathon Swim Qualifier (Men): Mellouli (TUN), also a champion in open water

London 2012 Swimming

Oussama Mellouli (TUN)Oussama Mellouli had warned: his entry into the open water elite would be memorable. In the second 10km event he ever raced, the Tunisian star won the men’s FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier held today in Setubal (POR). Mellouli completed the race in 1h45m18s5 after a superb strategy in which he always stayed in the leading group of athletes, providing a superb and decisive attack in the last two loops of the race.

The Olympic champion of the 1500m free in Beijing (CHN) had declared in the Press Conference presenting the event in Setubal that, if qualified for London, he would fight for the medals in the British capital.

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Marathon Swim Qualifier (Women): Anderson (USA) wins, another 14 grab London ticket

London 2012 Swimming

Women's podiumAfter giving the starting signal for the women’s FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier in the bay of Setubal, Rosa Mota, the first Portuguese female gold Olympic medallist waited less for the final of the race than her time in the 1988 successful marathon in the roads of Seoul (KOR). The “godmother” of the Setubal event saw the first swimmer to finish the 10km race in 1h44m30s6, much faster than a standard time in a women’s road marathon.

The victory came to U.S. Haley Anderson, who got the opportunity to win her “ticket” for her first Olympic appearance.

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Strong field competes in Setubal (POR) for last Olympic marathon swimming berths

London 2012 Swimming

Everything is ready in Setubal (POR) to welcome the more than 100 swimmers (61 men and 41 women) from 45 countries searching for their final qualification for the 10km marathon swimming races at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. This weekend (June 9 for the women, and June 10 for the men), the last 15 places in each gender will be decided in Portuguese waters, where for the last six years (since 2006) was also held a leg of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup.

In the Press Conference presenting the event, both the local organisers and the athletes present in Setubal displayed their confidence in a great event. “We are very proud of hosting this qualification, the only one in Portuguese soil for the London Olympics. Both races will be thrilling, as we have a very strong field – both in quality and in quantity”, admitted Paulo Frischknecht, President of the Portuguese Swimming Federation and FINA Bureau Member.

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Canada's open water aces to seize historic chance

London 2012 Swimming

OTTAWA – Four Canadian swimmers will compete this weekend in Setubal, Portugal at the FINA Olympic Marathon Swimming Qualifier with high hopes of earning Canada’s first ever spot in the 10km Open Water race at the Olympics.

Zsofia Balaz of Toronto and Nadine Williams of Sherwood Park, Alta. will be aiming to be within the top 9 crossing the finish line to secure their place for London 2012. Balaz, who was the first National champion in the women’s 10km, is driven to become Canada’s first qualifier for the Marathon swimming event at the Olympics since it was first introduced to the Games line up in Beijing.

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First impressions and blistering marks at London Aquatics Centre

London 2012 Swimming

Many outstanding swimmers competed in the prelim heats of the British Nationals and the top 8 were seeded directly to an international finals session at the Olympic test event in the London Aquatics Centre, the venue for the 2012 Olympic Games. Most of these athletes came to see the venue and to familiarize themselves with the iconic new venue that will be the highlight of most of their careers.


Day 1, Saturday (March 3, 2012)
- World record holder Paul Biederman (GER) easily won the 400m freestyle event in a time of 3:50.95 easily defeating Velimir Stjepanov (SRB) who finished 2.29 seconds back. Biederman's time is the 18th fastest of the new year and a far cry from the 3:44.14 time he posted at the FINA World Championships last summer in Shanghai. Veteran Olympian Markus Rogan (AUT), currently training in the USA with Coach David Salo swam to a first place finish in the 400m IM, about 14 seconds off the world record set by Michael Phelps in this event. Ryan Lochte (USA) won the world championships last summer in a time of 4:07.13 but has yet to swim the event in 2012.  Rogan's prelim time of 4:17.18 was faster than his finals posting of 4:17.60 and he now has the 9th & 10th fastest performances of the new year.  German's Hendik Feldwehr looked smooth in his race against LI Xiayan of China cruising to a 1:00.48 and collecting his FINA A qualifying time. His swim is the 4th fastest of the year, but some distance from Alex Dale Oen's (NOR) fastest time of 2011, 58.71 set at the summer world championships.

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A renaissance for British Swimming is underway at the London Aquatics Centre

London 2012 Swimming

London Aquatics Centre is the gateway to London's Olympic Park

The GBR swimming team visited the Aquatics Centre site to take a look at the progress being made at the site in May 2009. From left: Joanne Jackson, Rebecca Adlington, David Davies.With its distinctive architecture and curved roof, the London Aquatics Centre will be the first venue visitors see upon entering the Olympic Park. Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London 2012 Organising committee, and an Olympic track legend in his own right explains "we thought it was really important to present this iconic venue for the Summer Olympic Games".  More than two thirds of all Olympic spectators will enter Olympic Park via a vast bridge that runs over a section of the aquatics Centre.

The venue was designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Zaha Hadid in 2004 before London was even awarded the summer's Olympic Games. It is certainly one of the most impressive venues constructed for the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2012 Summer Paralympics.

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José Mourinho will be the Ambassador of the “FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier”

London 2012 Swimming

The President of the Portuguese Swimming Federation (and FINA Bureau Member) Paulo Frischknecht was on October 27, 2011 in Madrid (ESP) to meet José Mourinho, the coach of the local football club Real Madrid, who will be the Ambassador of the “FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier”, to be held on June 9-10, 2012 in the Portuguese city of Setubal. Frischknecht was accompanied by the Mayor of Setubal, Maria das Dores Meira, and gave to Mourinho the official shirt of the competition. This event will complete the list of the 25 men and 25 women eligible to compete at the 10km Marathon Swimming races at the 2012 Olympic Games in London (GBR).

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Richard Weinberger (CAN) and Martina Grimaldi (ITA) win London Olympic 10km Marathon Swimming Test Event

London 2012 Swimming

Gold Medalist Richard Weingberger - credit: Mike LewisRichard Weinberger of Canada stunned a field of world champions to win the London 10km Marathon Swimming International - Test Event for the Olympic Games - by a margin of more than 26 seconds. Weinberger hasn't even qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games yet. His victory today is a confidence builder, but doesn't get him a ticket to the main event next August. While the Olympic 10km race may be circled on his calendar, he needs to earn one of the 15 remaining spot that will be up for grabs in Portugal next June at the Olympic qualifying event.
 
Weinberger defeated the men who placed first and second in the 10km event at the FINA World Championships in Shanghai last month. Thomas Lurz (GER) finished second to Weinberger today, 26.2 seconds behind the Canadian champion. Spyros Gianniotis (GRE) was third just one tenth of a second behind Lurz. Gianniotis is a first time world champion winning the 10km event in Shanghai, 2.5 seconds ahead of Lurz. The top 10 finishers from the 10km race in Shanghai qualified for the Olympic Games and eight of them were in today's field of 18 men who raced in the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park, London.  Weinberger placed 17th in the 10km race, ironically a little more than 26 seconds behind the Shanghai gold medallist.

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Top-class open water swimmers ready for the London 2012 10km Marathon Swimming Test Event

London 2012 Swimming

The public will get a change to watch world class swimmers including a number of World and Olympic medallists at the London 10km Marathon Swimming International in Hyde Park this Saturday, 13 August, part of the London Prepares Series and a test event for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The event, free for anyone to watch, takes place in the Serpentine inside Hyde Park and will feature some of the world's best marathon swimmers including the bronze medallist from Beijing 2008, German Thomas Lurz and the 10km gold medallist from the recent FINA World Championships in Shanghai, Spyridon Gianniotis (GRE), who was born in Liverpool.

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