Sunday, January 20, 2008
Olympic 10K Marathon Swimming Selection Criteria
Like cyclists in the Tour de France, 10K marathon swimmer athletes compete in very close proximity to one another, swimming over most of the course in a large pack while a few swimmers try to break from the pack as the race progresses. The race will culminate with a furious and fast finish as the athletes sprint for the gold, silver and bronze…and places #4 through #25.
So how do these athletes qualify for the Olympics?
There is a four-step formula to select the 25 female and 25 male athletes who will compete in the Olympic 10km Marathon Swim to be held at the Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing and Marathon Swimming Park on August 20th (female) and 21st (male) 2008 (Day 12 and 13).
The formula is a bit complicated, but it allows for a large number of countries to qualify their athletes for the first Olympic 10K Marathon Swimming race.
1st Priority: 20 swimmers (10 female and 10 male) will automatically qualify by finishing in the top 10 in the 10K race at the 2008 FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships to be held in Seville, Spain in May 2008.
2nd Priority: 10 swimmers (5 female and 5 male) will qualify as Continental Representatives. The first eligible finisher in the 10K race at the 2008 FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships in Seville from each of the five Continental Regions who finish outside of the Top 10 finishers will automatically qualify.
3rd Priority: 2 swimmers (1 female and 1 male) will qualify as the Host Country representatives. China will nominate one female and one male athlete. If China qualifies two of its athletes through Priority #1 or one athlete through Priority #2, then this slot will be added to Priority #4, enabling an additional 10th slot for Priority #4.
4th Priority: 9 (or 10) swimmers (4 or 5 female and 4 or 5 male) will qualify at the FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier held at the Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing and Marathon Swimming Park on May 31st (female) and June 1st (male). This total number depends on the selection method of the Chinese swimmers. If a country has not qualified its swimmers through Priority #1, #2 or #3 above, they may send two athletes to compete in the FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier. All remaining slots will be filled at this competition; however, each country can qualify only one athlete per gender. The swimmers already qualified through Priority #1, #2 or #3 may also participate in this competition.
1. The maximum number of the athletes who will take part in the Beijing 2008 Olympic swimming competition will be 850, including the 50 athletes who will compete in the Olympic 10km Marathon Swim.
2. All countries may only qualify a maximum of two athletes per swimming event in the Olympics, including the 10K Marathon Swimming event.
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