This is the second and final Olympic qualification opportunity in Marathon Swimming, after the first best 10 men and 10 women were selected at the FINA World Championships Gwangju 2019. Among them, we can find the current Olympic champion, Dutch Ferry Weertman, or multiple world medallist Marc-Antoine Olivier (FRA). Other men to watch in Tokyo will be Germany’s Florian Wellbrock, US Jordan Wilimovsky or Hungary’s Kristof Rasovsky, all securing their selection in 2019. On the women’s field, the winner in Rio 2016, Sharon van Rouwendaal (NED) also got her Olympic ticket in Korea, while Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA), Rachele Bruni (ITA), Xin Xin (CHN) or Haley Anderson (USA) also don’t need to make the travel to Portugal.

But many other stars will be present in Setubal and will fiercely fight for one of the 15 available spots for both genders. In the men’s event (63 competitors), to be held on Sunday (June 20), the top star of the field is undoubtedly Oussama Mellouli, from Tunisia, winner of the qualification event in 2012, and then gold medallist at the London Games (where he also won bronze in the 1500m free, after the Olympic title in this pool event in 2008). At 37, Mellouli is surely looking at one of his last available opportunities (in Gwangju 2019 he was only 38th, while in Rio 2016, he finished 12th) to shine at the highest level and his experience will certainly be valuable in the Lusitanian waters.

From Brazil, veterans Allan do Carmo and Diogo Villarinho will try to make their way to Tokyo; Hector Pardoe and Tobias Robinson are looking for a British place in the Games, after the retirement of Jack Burnell, while Greeks Athanasios Kynigakis and Dimitris Markos are also looking to replace in the best possible way the best-Hellenic ever in the discipline, Spyridon Gianniotis; from North Macedonia, Evgenij Pop Acev could also be a strong contender for the qualification; Russia’s Evgenii Drattcev will make use of its confirmed experience, and Ukraine’s Igor Chervynskiy has also valuable credentials in the discipline.

Among women (race to be held on Saturday, June 19, with 47 athletes), South Americans Cecilia Biagioli (ARG) and Samantha Arevalo (ECU, third in 2016 in Setubal) will fight for the top positions. From Hungary, Anna Olasz (third in Portugal in 2012 and 14th in Rio 2016), should be able to make the cut, while Portugal has in Angelica Andre its best hope to make the Olympic selection. 

Check the full Entry Lists

Unlike the qualification through the FINA World Championships (where a maximum of two athletes per NF and per gender can be retained, provided they finish in the top-10), each nation entered in Setubal can only qualify one competitor in each gender for the Games. Despite that, many countries present in Portugal have entered the maximum possible number of athletes, two men and two women, confirming the priority given to this discipline and multiplying by two their chances of qualification. In this case, we have the national delegations of Argentina, Canada, Czech Republic, Egypt, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Japan (as host of the Games, one man and one woman are entitled to take part in the Olympics), Kazakhstan, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa, Russia, Thailand and Venezuela. 

Before the Portuguese rendezvous, the following 10 men and 10 women are already qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games:

Florian Wellbrock (GER)

Marc-Antoine Olivier (FRA)

Rob Muffels (GER)

Kristof Rasovszky (HUN)

Jordan Wilimovsky (USA)

Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA)

Ferry Weertman (NED)

Alberto Martinez (ESP)

Mario Sanzullo (ITA)

David Aubry (FRA)


Xin Xin (CHN)
Haley Anderson (USA)

Rachele Bruni (ITA)

Lara Grangeon (FRA)

Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA)

Ashley Twichell (USA)

Kareena Lee (AUS)

Finnia Wunram (GER)

Leonie Beck (GER)

Sharon van Rouwendaal (NED)