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Olympic open swimming explained

Olympic open swimming explained

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Published by The State Newspaper
An explainer on Olympic open swimming
An explainer on Olympic open swimming

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Published by: The State Newspaper on Jul 27, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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One rough swim

The open water swim race, considered by many to be one of the toughest Olympic events, is a two-hour 10-km (6.2-mi.) race requiring strength and endurance.

The start

Swim caps required at start, can be discarded later

Swimmers numbered on both arms, shoulder blades and backs of hands

• Swimmers divide into packs, then jostle for the No. 2 position, which allows them to watch the competition, catch draft off leader • Referee boats watch for swimmers violating rules

The finish

Transponders used for timing attached to wrist Each swimmer has about 2 ft. (60 cm) of space on starting platform • Platforms very crowded; if a coach falls in water, swimmer is disqualified

• Swimmers must touch the pad at end of course for time to be counted; cameras and officials determine finish order • Set up to help swimmers go the distance; swimmers grab cups filled with energy gel from feeding sticks held by their coaches • Sticks have flag on the end so swimmers know which one to grab
© 2012 MCT Source: International Olympic Committee, 10kswim.com Graphic: Melina Yingling

Feeding stations

Swimmer spots coach


Continues Reaches for kicking to keep cup while momentum turning



Swallows, Continues swimming; feeding takes 2-3 finishes seconds turning



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