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The world’s best open water swimmers will converge in Seville, Spain in May for the first qualifying race of the 2008 Olympic Games 10K Swimming Marathon.

The 5th FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships will be held in Seville between May 3rd – 8th 2008.

In Seville, the top ten male and the top ten female finishers will automatically qualify for the Olympic 10K Swimming Marathon. The remaining 15 finalists will be chosen as follows:

5 athletes will be chosen as the top finisher from each of the designated 5 continents.
1 athlete will be chosen from the host nation of China.
9 or 10 athletes will be chosen from the FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifying race held in Beijing on the actual Olympic 10K course on May 31st for women and June 1st for men. Note: 9 athletes will be chosen depending on the means in which the Chinese representative qualifies.

The USA National Swim Team members going to Seville include:

1. Micha Burden (26), Mission Viejo Nadadores: 10K and 25K
2. Kirsten Groome (17), First Colony Swim Team: 10K
3. Chloe Sutton (15), Mission Viejo Nadadores: 5K
4. Christine Jennings (20), Minnesota Aquatics: 25K and  5K
5. Erica Rose (25), Northwestern Aquatics: 25K
6. Mark Warkentin (28), Santa Barbara Swim Team: 10K and 25K
7. Chip Peterson (19) University of North Carolina: 10K
8. Josef Kinderwater (18), University of North Carolina: 5K
9. Chad  La Tourette (19), Mission Viejo Nadadores: 5K
10. John Kenny (26), Germantown Academy Aquatic Club: 25K
11. Bill Rose, Mission Viejo Nadadores, Head Coach
12. Rick Walker, Southern Illinois University, Assistant Coach
13. Catherine Vogt, University of North Carolina, Assistant Coach
14. John Dussliere, Santa Barbara Swim Club, Head Manager
15. Paul Asmuth, Special Assistant to the National Team Head Coach
16. Jeremy Vail, Team Trainer
17. James Johnson, M.D., Team Doctor
18. Genadijus Sokolovas, Technical Support

In Seville, the women’s 10K competition will be held on May 3rd and the men’s 10K race will be held on May 4th, both starting at 10 am. The Seville course was also the site of the 2002 Rowing and Canoeing World Championships.

Although the highlight of the 5th FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships in Seville will be the Olympic 10K qualifying race, the championships will also include the 2008 5K and 25K events. The 5K races will be held on May 6th and the 25K races will be held on May 8th.

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The 10K qualifying race will take place in the Guadalquivir River in a closed 2.5K-loop course. The athletes will swim in a counter clockwise direction, keeping the turn buoys on their left shoulder The water temperature will be approximately 75-77°F (or 24-25°C). The start and finish will be near the Rowing-Canoeing High Performance Center facilities with the standard FINA floating touch pad finish pontoon affixed with video cameras to record the photo finishes. The entire course is between 3 – 8 meters deep.

The athletes will wear microchip transponders on both of their wrists throughout the race. Any athlete who finishes the race without a transponder will be disqualified. A dive start will be used from a floating start pontoon. There will also be one feeding pontoon located in the center of the course where one coach will be permitted per swimmer. No boats will be allowed on the course except for boats with the race officials and medical personnel.

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The Who’s Who of open water swimming will be there…all of whom have their own Olympic dreams. Because 15 athletes will be automatically qualifying for the Olympic 10K final, the races will be extremely close. The results from the 2006 FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships in Napoli, Italy are below.

10K Men’s Final Results

GOLD:     Thomas Lurz, Germany     2 hours 10 minutes 39 seconds
SILVER:     Valerio Cleri, Italy     2 hours 10 minutes 40 seconds
BRONZE:     Evgeny Drattsev, Russia     2 hours 10 minutes 40 seconds
4th     Andrea Righi, Italy     2 hours 10 minutes 42 seconds
5th     Marteen Van Der Weijden, Netherlands     2 hours 10 minutes 43 seconds
6th     Chip Peterson, USA     2 hours 10 minutes 44 seconds
7th     Evgeny Koshkarov, Russia     2 hours 10 minutes 44 seconds
8th     Josh Santacaterina, Australia     2 hours 10 minutes 45 seconds
9th     Christian Hein, Germany     2 hours 10 minutes 47 seconds
10th     Stephane Gomez, France     2 hours 10 minutes 48 seconds
11th     Igor Chervynskiy, Ukraine     2 hours 10 minutes 49 seconds
12th     Alan Bircher, Great Britain     2 hours 10 minutes 50 seconds
13th     Brendan Capell, Australia     2 hours 10 minutes 53 seconds
14th     Shaun Dias, South Africa     2 hours 11 minutes 0 seconds
15th     Mohamed El Zanaty, Egypt     2 hours 11 minutes 0 seconds

10K Women’s Final Results

GOLD:     Larisa Ilchenko, Russia     2 hours 19 minutes 49 seconds
SILVER:     Poliana Okimoto, Brazil     2 hours 19 minutes 49 seconds
BRONZE:     Ksenia Popova, Russia     2 hours 19 minutes 49 seconds
4th     Angela Maurer, Germany     2 hours 20 minutes 0 seconds
5th     Trudee Hutchinson, Australia     2 hours 20 minutes 9 seconds
6th     Jana Pechanova, Czech     2 hours 20 minutes 22 seconds
7th     Cassandra Patten, Great Britain     2 hours 20 minutes 24 seconds
8th     Kate Brookes-Peterson, Australia     2 hours 20 minutes 31 seconds
9th     Laura La Piana, Italy     2 hours 20 minutes 32 seconds
10th     Erica Rose, USA     2 hours 20 minutes 34 seconds
11th     Ana Marcela Da Cruz, Brazil     2 hours 20 minutes 56 seconds
12th     Natalya Samorodina, Ukraine     2 hours 20 minutes 59 seconds
13th     Isobel Newman, Great Britain     2 hours 24 minutes 29 seconds
14th     Celeste Punet, Argentina     2 hours 24 minutes 45 seconds
15th     Federica Vitale, Italy     2 hours 24 minutes 49 seconds

In Beijing, the women’s 10K Olympic final will be held on October 20th and the men’s 10K Olympic final will be held on October 21st in the Olympic rowing basin.


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