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GOING FOR GOLD

who will shine in the 10km open water marathon swimming events in rio?

2016 RIO

What are you doing on 15 and 16 August this year? Those are the dates for the men’s and women’s 10km marathon swimming races at the Rio Olympics, and the third time marathon swimming has featured at an Olympic Games. If you can spare two hours, it will be well worth watching. The setting is the world-famous Copacabana Beach. Swimmers will fight it out over four laps in the bay while spectators can lap up the sunshine and scenery from the beach.

The race is limited to 25 men and 25 women who earned their right to compete through two events. The first to qualify were the top ten from each gender at last year’s FINA World Championships. A second qualification race took place in Setúbal, Portugal, in June for the remaining places.

Predicting winners in the confusion of open water is a lot more difficult than the orderly environment of the pool. Marathon races are often decided over the final few hundred metres and the times swimmers post in a pool don’t necessarily correspond to what they can do in a sprint after they’ve already been racing for 9.9km. Still, we thought it would be fun to give it a go and share our opinion on who we think has a chance to stand on the podium in Rio.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

We know that most of our readers are fully converted to the joys of swimming outdoors and only venture into indoor, chlorine-filled pools when necessity (or a training schedule) dictates. But it seems that some people haven’t yet discovered our world. They don’t know the thrill of cool water against their skin, the joy of looking up and not seeing a roof but sky and trees. They don’t know how to gauge the temperature of natural water (nice, cool, flippin’ freezing!) or the special properties of river, lake and sea water. When they swim they don’t hear bird song, they hear the aqua aerobics class from the lane next to them. If you know one of these people, please help them by showing them a copy of this magazine. We have lots of inspirational stories and features to help them break out of that chlorine-filled box. What better way to dip into swimming outdoors than wild swimming in our beautiful national parks? Our feature on the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales will guide you to the best swim spots in both parks. Or if you prefer your waters a little warmer, why not head to the Costa Brava, where I explored the coast from the safety of new boat-free areas. We have also been hearing from readers about their epic swims: English Channel, North Channel, round Bermuda and the length of Britain’s longest river. We love reading your inspiring stories, even if your challenges sometimes scare us a little bit... Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming.
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