The open water events of the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia, kick off tomorrow (25 July) with the men’s and women’s 5km event. On Monday 27 July it is the 10km men’s race and the women’s race on Tuesday 28 July. The 25km event takes place on 1 August.
With Olympic qualification the prize in the 10km event, both races promise some fiercely contested swimming. The top 10 best ranked athletes in each race will automatically qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. As such, the Championships have drawn a strong field in both the men’s and women’s races. Seventy-three athletes are registered for the men’s race and 57 for the women’s race.
The start line for the men’s 10km includes Great Britain’s Daniel Fogg, who came fourth in the 10km marathon swim at London 2012, and Jack Burnell, current FINA/HOSA Marathon Swimming World Cup leader. The field also includes Allan Do Carmo (Brazil), Richard Weinberger (Canada), Spyridon Gianniotis (Greece), Simone Ruffini (Italy), Kane Radford (New Zealand) and Ous Mellouli (Tunisia).
In the women’s race, Great Britain’s Keri-anne Payne and Danielle Huskisson will take on an equally stellar start list, including Ana Marcela Cunha and Poliana Okimoto (Brazil), Eva Risztov (Hungary), Rachelle Bruni (Italy), Sharon van Rouwendaal (Netherlands) and Haley Anderson (USA).
If swimmers miss out on Olympic qualification at Kazan, there is a second chance at the FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier 2016, where a further nine places are on offer.
We will have a full report and pictures of the races next week.