Images courtesy of NBCOlympics.com on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.

Tears of joy welled up on the face of the Netherlands’ Sharon Van Rouwendaal soon after she touched the finish panel at today’s Olympic 10K Marathon Swim on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.

The 22-year-old was joyous and, rightly so, for she has been training hard under the coaching guidance of the demanding Philippe Lucas. With all that training under her swim cap, Van Rouwendaal took off on a major surge a bit after the 7 km mark and never looked back. Once she made her surge, she was committed and confident in her ability to hold off the trailing pack.

Van Rouwendaal not only swam to the front of the pack, but she gradually opened up a larger and larger lead as she got closer and closer to the finish. Her strategy of opening up the race and spreading out the lead (trailing) pack was reminiscent of Ous Mellouli’s gold medal performance in the Serpentine at the 2012 London Olympic Games. But in this case on Copacabana Beach, Van Rouwendaal simply demonstrated that her stamina, speed and strength were too much for the rest of the 26-woman field.

2016 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim Final Results:
Gold Sharon Van Rouwendaal (Netherlands) 1:56:32.1
Silver Rachele Bruni (Italy) 1:56:49.5

Bronze: Poliana Okimoto (Brazil) 1:56:51.4
4. Xin Xin (China) 1:57:14.4
5. Haley Anderson (United States) 1:57:20.2
6. Isabelle Härle (Germany) 1:57:22.1
7. Keri-Anne Payne (Great Britain) 1:57:23.9

8. Anastasiia Krapivina (Russia) 1:57:25.9
9. Samantha Arevalo (Ecuador) 1:57:27.2
10. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil) 1:57:29.0
11. Kaliopi Araouzou (Greece) 1:57:31.6
12. Yumi Kida (Japan) 1:57:35.2
13. Éva Risztov (Hungary) 1:57:42.8
14. Anna Olasz (Hungary) 1:57:45.5
15. Chelsea Gubecka (Australia) 1:58:12.7

16. Spela Perse (Slovenia) 1:58:59.6
17. Erika Villaecija (Spain) 1:59:04.8
18. Michelle Weber (South Africa) 1:59:05.0
19. Jana Pechanova (Czech Republic) 1:59:07.7
20. Paola Perez (Venezuela) 1:59:07.7
21. Heidi Gan (Malaysia) 1:59:07.9
22. Joanna Zachoszcz (Poland) 1:59:20.4
23. Stephanie Horner (Canada) 1:59:22.1
24. Vânia Neves (Portugal) 2:01:39.3
25. Reem Mohamed Husein Elsayed Kaseem (Egypt) 2:05:19.1
DSQ Aurélie Muller (France)

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