Mark Warkentin of the Santa Barbara Swim Club was asked a series of questions prior to departing for Beijing for the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim. Here are his first-person answers:
Q1. Like a water polo game or a basketball game, there are lots of fouls called during an open water swim. The referee gives warning whistles, many yellow cards and an occasional red flag. What do you think about when you are given a warning whistle or a yellow card?
A1. I think about not being issued a red card. In Seville, we know what happened with Grant Hackett [when he was disqualified for a red card]. Things happen so quickly at times. In the last 25 meters in Seville, someone got red carded. In the blink of an eye, situations change. But, I know what I need to do if I am boxed in or not in a good position. I just stay relaxed and know there is a long swim of me with a lot of variables ahead.
Photo of Mark Warkentin with white lanolin caked on his neck and shoulders after a training session at the 2007 World Swimming Championships in Melbourne. Photo by Dr. Jim Miller.
Copyright © 2008 by World Open Water Swimming Association