Payne qualifies for third Olympics

The start line of the 10km marathon swimming events at Rio 2016 is now complete after a weekend of racing in Setúbal, Portugal. Forty-eight women and 61 men competed in the FINA Marathon Swimming Olympic Games Qualification Tournament, battling it out for the last chance to qualify for the Olympics. The top 10 finishers in both the men’s and women’s races directly qualified for Rio (maximum one athlete per country), plus an extra five places for each gender based on continental rankings. These athletes join the 20 swimmers already selected at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan.

In the women’s event, China’s Xin Xin took gold in 1h55m12s1. The relatively unknown 19-year-old held off Great Britain’s Keri-anne Payne, who took silver in 1h55m12s9. The 28-year-old Warrender swimmer will now compete in her third Olympics and is looking to put her disappointing fourth place in London 2012 behind her.

“Everything I’ve done is to get prepared to stand on the podium in Rio. I’ll be doing everything that I can to make that happen.”

Payne joins Jack Burnell, who qualified for Rio at the 2015 World Championships. Great Britain’s Danielle Huskisson, although she finished ninth at Setúbal, missed out on selection as only one athlete per country could qualify.

Bronze in the women’s event was taken by Samantha Arevalo from Ecuador.

The men’s event also saw China and Ecuador on the podium, with Lijun Zu taking gold in 1h52m18s2. German open water star Christian Reichert took silver in 1h52m20s4, while Ecuador’s Ivan Enderica took bronze in 1h52m22s6.

Other notable qualifications for Rio at Setúbal included reigning Olympic champion Oussama Mellouli, South Africa’s Chad Ho (5km world champ), Australian Jarrod Poort and New Zealand’s Kane Radford, who qualified thanks to the continental selection.

Complete list of the 30 athletes qualified at Setúbal

Direct qualification (women):

Xin Xin (China)

Keri-Anne Payne (Great Britain)

Samantha Arevalo (Ecuador)

Chelsea Gubecka (Australia)

Yumi Kida (Japan)

Michelle Weber (South Africa)

Joanna Zachoszcz (Poland)

Paola Perez (Venezuela)

Spela Perse (Slovenia)

Jana Pechanova (Czech Republic)

Continental qualification (women):

Erika Villaecija (Spain)

Stephanie Horner (Canada)

Heidi Gan (Malaysia)

Charlotte Webby (New Zealand)

Reem Mohamed Husein Elsayed Kaseem (Egypt)

Direct qualification (men):

Lijun Zu (China)

Christian Reichert (Germany)

Ivan Enderica (Ecuador)

Evgenii Drattcev (Russia)

Oussama Mellouli (Tunisia)

Richard Nagy (Slovakia)

Jarrod Poort (Australia)

Yasunari Hirai (Japan)

Chad Ho (South Africa)

Ventsislav Aydarski (Bulgaria)

Continental qualification (men):

Mark Papp (Hungary)

Erwin Maldonado (Venezuela)

Kane Radford (New Zealand)

Vitaliy Khudyakov (Kazakhstan)

Marwan Ahmed Aly Morsy Elamrawy (Egypt)

Photo by Jose Lorvao

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Jonathan is a year-round skins swimmer with a particular love of very cold water. He has competed in ice swimming competitions around the world. He is a qualified open water coach with a particular love of introducing new swimmers to the open water.