Olympic Marathon Swimming 10km (spoiler alert!)

MunatonesMunatones Member
edited August 2012 in General Discussion
Is anyone interested in the Olympic marathon swim to be held in the Serpentine today and tomorrow? In the United States, there will be minimal television coverage, but at least NBC is streaming it live online. Outside the United States, how are people watching the event?
Steven Munatones
www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com
Huntington Beach, California, U.S.A.

Comments

  • BillBill Member
    Live streaming in Canada on CTVolympics.
  • Watched it live online while at work in the US. My bosses were a little confused as to why I was cheering at 8:45 a.m. I was chatting via Twitter with three people in Australia and two people in the UK watching it, either as a live stream, live on TV (in Australia) or live at the event.
  • I was there! It was incredible! Absolutely stunning. Risztov's footwork was an unbelievably calm, unseen 2bk with no splash at all. Everyone's high elbow recovery was a thing of beauty to behold. And Haley Anderson's upset over Martina Grimaldi could hardly be believed after 9k of very, very fast swimming. Can't wait to see the men's 10k tomorrow!
  • The British disappointment at Payne's missing out on a medal was palpable and depressing, though I thought that Risztov richly deserved a medal, as did pretty much everyone else. I was kind of happy that none of the drafters got the upper hand over her after she led the race for about an hour. Fun fact: There were people in the crowd with homemade t-shirts that read "Keep Calm and Keri Anne".
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    @evmo, @loneswimmer: Can one of the moderator put the word SPOILER in this thread title? In case someone hasn't watched it yet?
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited August 2012
    For anyone watching the replay stream on nbcolympics.com, here are the race numbers for the women's field:

    1. Angela Maurer (GER)
    2. Erika Villaecija (ESP)
    3. Jana Pechanova (CZE)
    4. Yumi Kida (JPN)
    5. Jessica Roux (RSA)
    6. Yanqiao Fang (CHN) (did not start)
    7. Melissa Gorman (AUS)
    8. Anna Guseva (RUS)
    9. Yanel Pinto (VEN)
    10. Martina Grimaldi (ITA)
    11. Ophelie Aspord (FRA)
    12. Karla Sitic (CRO)
    13. Haley Anderson (USA)
    14. Zsofia Balazs (CAN)
    15. Keri-Anne Payne (GBR)
    16. Olga Beresnyeva (UKR)
    17. Wing Yung Natasha Terri Tang (HKG)
    18. Heidi Gan (MAS)
    19. Natalia Charlos (POL)
    20. Swann Oberson (SUI)
    21. Lizeth Rueda Santos (MEX)
    22. Poliana Okimoto (BRA)
    23. Marianna Lymperta (GRE)
    24. Cecilia Biagioli (ARG)
    25. Eva Risztov (HUN)

    [source]
  • Anyone know what happened to Okimoto and Roux? Conditions did not seem to be particularly extreme, was their a collision or something I missed?

    I could only watch sporadically online because I had to at least pretend to be paying attention in class...
  • NiekNiek Member
    edited August 2012
    Watched it on BBC1 here in Holland.
    Tomorrow I'll be in London at the male race.

    Was wondering how the referees could observe the swimmers behind the turn buoys?
    Those pink things were to high from their point of view. They should have been at the other side on their boats.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    @swimmergirl23 Hypo for Okimoto. Not sure about Roux but it also looked like hypo. She was way off the back of the pack.
  • Yikes!!! How cold was it?
  • @swimmergirl23 20deg C apparently! So you know...warm.

    BBC reported Okimoto was complaining about the temps on last year's trial swim. She looked rough coming out of water.

    I was wondering about the diesel in the water, though the boats seemed to stay out of the swimmers line, it must have drifted in. I bloody hate diesel in water. I guess it doesn't slow you down though. Some of the feeds didn't look great to me either, not like what you see on the FINA 25k's.
  • is anyone aware of any video footage of this race available online?
    I tried to convince myself, but, orange flavour electrolyte, mixed with hot chocolate,
    tastes nothing like Terry's Chocolate Orange ....
  • It was depressing to see them being picked up on the jet.

    Water temp in the serpentine: http://serpentineswimmingclub.com/weather/

    Okay, heading out to Hyde Park now. Very excited!
  • Sadly, not much coverage on NZ terrestrial TV! Does any know where we can watch this on the internet? (NBC doesn't work outside US).
  • MarcusNZ said:

    Sadly, not much coverage on NZ terrestrial TV! Does any know where we can watch this on the internet? (NBC doesn't work outside US).

    I think there have been some ways on reddit to backdoor into BBC streams.
  • Today's race was so impressive. Ous Mellouli was terrific. His stroke rate was surprisingly low, his recovery very economic (barely clearing the water with his hands), and he occasionally flipped on his back to see how the folks behind him were doing. When he fed at around 7km or so, it looked as if he was sipping a drink at a cafe! And then he turned things on in the last loop. Unbelievable.
  • smithsmith Member
    edited August 2012
    Mellouli's performance is possibly one of the greatest in the history of swimming in the context that he's primarily a pool swimmer and the defending 1500 meter champion, and was hoping to reach the highest level of the podium in the 1500 last week. He earned the bronze in a great time, and then turns around and dominates one of the best 10K open water fields in history...in 67 degree water. Amazing, intelligent, and masterful performance this morning. I'm glad I got to see it.
    Lactate is for wimps.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited August 2012
    I mean this purely out of intellectual curiosity, not out of disrespect or doubt of the gold medalist, but...

    It would be interesting to see how the same race plays out in a rough-water setting, e.g., last year's US Nationals (World Trials qualifier) in Fort Lauderdale. The Serpentine was about as friendly a setting as one could imagine for crossover pool swimmers with long smooth strokes.
  • Evan, several friends of mine commented to the same effect. Yes, it would be interesting, and Lurz's immense experience could've been an asset in that situation. I would keep in mind, however, that even in the calm waters of the Serpentine, OW presented some new challenges and skills that Mellouli handled beautifully. Beyond the obvious issue of length, there's the inability to flip turn, dealing with feeding, and dealing with drafting and the physical closeness of the competitors. He swam a gorgeous race in each and every one of those categories. I would love to see how he tackles swells and chop and salt water in the future, and I hope this is not his last foray into open water racing.
  • Roughwater settings do not necessarily change the outcomes at the elite level. Arguably the world's best waterman, Ky Hurst of Australia, who is a renowned lifesaver and incredible paddler, kayaker and bodysurfer who has spent more time in rough oceans that most humans, has never won an elite pro marathon race (at least to my knowledge) and, over the times, there have been some rough conditions in which those races have been held. Alex Meyer won the roughwater conditions in Fort Lauderdale and he has long smooth strokes.

    While an experienced (ocean) masters swimmer can beat an inexperienced (ocean) masters swimmer of the same (pool) speed, this is not generally true at the elite level where the top 5-10 men in the world are simply fast in any type of water above 13 degrees C.

    Ous has done several races in San Francisco Bay over the years and is coached by knowledgeable coaches, so it is my guess he would have won under nearly all circumstances given the race was conducted as it was.

    The race appeared to be rather slow for the elite swimmers over the first 7K. The men were swimming casually at times with some increased efforts here and there...this strategy played into the hands of Ous. The pace essentially turned a 10K race into a 3K race. While other men had swum 25km or 20 miles (in the case of Petar Stoychev) before, Ous had only swum 2 10Ks before. But he can certainly handle a fast 3K especially when the sun is out, the water is 20 degrees C and the initial 7K pace did not tax him much. Ous might have still won, but it would have been interesting to see if the pace would have been fast from the start.

    Additionally, Ous placed himself perfectly throughout the race. While swimmers complain about the physicality of the race, Ous set himself up away from the main pack and certainly out of the middle of swimmers. Ous kept true to the most important self-protection rule in elite swimming: only have one competitor at your side. This significantly reduced the amount of physicality that Ous had to deal with and enabled him to remain relatively fresh for the last 3K.

    Lastly, Ous made his move at precisely the perfect time. While other competitors were coming up to the feeding station, Ous carried on and established a nice initial cushion from which others never made up. If he would have made a similar surge at any other time in the race, the initial cushion would have been less in my opinion.

    Outstanding race.

    My question is, What kind of budget do you think they had to put on that incredible race? They even designed custom-made kayaks for the event, although it did not appear they used electric boats to cut down on the fumes.
    Steven Munatones
    www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com
    Huntington Beach, California, U.S.A.
  • NiekNiek Member
    Slightly off topic
    smith said:

    in 67 degree water

    That's not cold. And it was even warmer than that; The temperature in the Serpentine, at a depth of 40cm, was recorded at more than 21C (70F) two hours before the race

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • The official water temperature was taken 1 hour ahead of time in 2 opposite ends of the course as is usually done in FINA races. As we know from other professional marathon swims, the water temperature is always in flux. This is why certain national governing bodies and excellent race organizers who are concerned about extreme temperatures monitor the water temperature before AND during races.

    We should keep in mind that the spirit of competitive open water swims is much different from the channel swimming community. Whereas competitive open water swims are geared towards amateurs of every age and ability, including minors, and safety is aimed at the lowest common denominator, channel swimmers prepare for - and take pride in - overcoming extreme conditions and extreme temperatures that are beyond 99.9% of humanity.

    So while the channel swimming community may consider anything above 15°C balmy and bearable, this is neither the mindset nor the anticipated conditions in which the competitive open water swimmers bases their training and preparations for.

    As we all know, when the former Canadian National Exhibition races were conducted, professional marathon swimmers prepared for races held under 15°C ... but this is no longer the case in contemporary times.

    This is why I am particularly interested in the discussions that will come out of the meetings that will be held at the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference where Ram Barkai and others will discuss a global strategy to get extreme (ice) swimming into the Winter Olympics. A 1km race in sub-5°C at the Winter Olympics will give the opportunity for the world to appreciate the talents, training and techniques of extreme swimmers, probably a majority who will be over the age of 30 if this Olympic dream is ever realized.

    I put my money on Colin Hill...
    Steven Munatones
    www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com
    Huntington Beach, California, U.S.A.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Munatones said:

    We should keep in mind that the spirit of competitive open water swims is much different from the channel swimming community. Whereas competitive open water swims are geared towards amateurs of every age and ability, including minors, and safety is aimed at the lowest common denominator, channel swimmers prepare for - and take pride in - overcoming extreme conditions and extreme temperatures that are beyond 99.9% of humanity.

    We're not talking about "lowest common denominator" athletes. These are Olympians. Swimming is, in many cases, these athletes' full-time jobs. They've had years to prepare for the water temp & conditions they would encounter in the Serpentine. It is amazing to me that anyone at this level would get pulled for hypothermia in 20C water.
    Munatones said:

    Ram Barkai and others will discuss a global strategy to get extreme (ice) swimming into the Winter Olympics. A 1km race in sub-5°C at the Winter Olympics will give the opportunity for the world to appreciate the talents, training and techniques of extreme swimmers, probably a majority who will be over the age of 30 if this Olympic dream is ever realized.

    This is one of the more interesting ideas related to open water swimming I've heard in a long time, possibly ever.
  • Ireland could have a Winter Olympics squad of 40 swimmers! And 1 skier!
  • smithsmith Member
    edited August 2012
    Niek said:

    Slightly off topic

    smith said:

    in 67 degree water

    That's not cold. And it was even warmer than that; The temperature in the Serpentine, at a depth of 40cm, was recorded at more than 21C (70F) two hours before the race

    When a pool swimmer, especially one who trains in SoCal, is in water 10-12 colder than regular pool temperature, it will feel cold...real cold. Even if he acclimated himself a bit with open water training, other swimmers like Stoychev, Dyatchin, and Lurz have the upper hand when the water is colder than usual. The pool-oriented swimmer will not go into hypothermia, but he will definitely feel the difference more than others. What's more, when Mellouli qualified in Portugal, reports a day or two before the race indicated that the water temperature was in the range of 61 degrees, which is on the upper end of English Channel temps. Mellouli ended up dominating that race. Both performances were tremendous.

    Lactate is for wimps.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    Does anyone want to talk about the 2 (3?) swimmers who weren't ready when the starter's horn went off? I thought that was odd. One of them looked like he was still putting his goggles on...
  • bobswimsbobswims Charter Member
    Munatones said:

    A 1km race in sub-5°C at the Winter Olympics will give the opportunity for the world to appreciate the talents, training and techniques of extreme swimmers, probably a majority who will be over the age of 30 if this Olympic dream is ever realized.

    When I read this I began to wonder how cold can water get before it freezes. As best as I was able to find out it is -55° C. The question then is why -5° C. (This is a serious question). I'm sure the relevant scientific and medical information has been examined. Is there someplace I can read it online?

    I remember watching a TED video where Lewis Pugh's talked about the damage he suffered to the nerves in his hands that took a while to heal. If I remember there was also some very superficial damage to the skin on his hands as well. That water was reported as being 2° C.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited August 2012
    bobswims said:

    The question then is why -5° C. (This is a serious question). I'm sure the relevant scientific and medical information has been examined. Is there someplace I can read it online?

    The International Ice Swimming Association standard is 5C ( @Munatones was using a hyphen, not a negative sign). Not sure why 5, though. Probably because it's a round-ish number.
  • The swimmers were ready to go at the start. The delay in the start of a few of the swimmers was a deliberate and planned attempt to fall behind the lead pack and draft easily in the first few loops. This was not a mistake. In fact, the last swimmer to take off was Spyros Gianniotis of Greece, the 2011 10K world champion, who ended up placing 4th.
    Steven Munatones
    www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com
    Huntington Beach, California, U.S.A.
  • A review of every major international competition (e.g., World Championships, Olympics) shows that at least one athlete has voluntarily quit (and sometimes several have withdrawn) or is significantly slower than expected. There are also athletes who DNS (Did Not Start) like the Chinese swimmer in London.

    Just because athletes train and acclimate for years, it does not mean they will perform as expected especially in pressure-packed situations. The same was true for the women's 10K where 2 women (South Africa and Brazil) withdrew early in the race. Both recovered, one nearly immediately. Both women have performed in colder conditions before. It was simply not their day. One of the women reportedly said, as she was leaving the water, that she prefers salt water conditions.

    For example, when the 2010 World Championships were held in lac St-Jean in Canada, Lurz did not perform well and he directly pointed to the colder water temperatures as one cause.

    On the flip side, there were 3 athletes in particular who were loose and confident before and during the race (Eva Risztov, Richard Weinberger and Haley Anderson). They stuck with their game plan and finished as medalists.
    Steven Munatones
    www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com
    Huntington Beach, California, U.S.A.
  • London 2012 - Mens 10k swim highlights


    London 2012 - Womens 10k swim highlights


    Beijing 2008 - Mens 10k swim highlights


    Beijing 2008 - Womens 10k swim highlights
    I tried to convince myself, but, orange flavour electrolyte, mixed with hot chocolate,
    tastes nothing like Terry's Chocolate Orange ....
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