A swim-off is the ultimate head-to-head battle in swimming.
A swim-off is a pressure-packed race between two athletes in order to break a tie conducted in a preliminary heat in pool competitions. The winner earns the right to compete in the finals.
In an unusual situation in Portugal’s Setubal Bay next week, the 2012 FINA Olympic 10km Marathon Swimming Qualifier will essentially be a swim-off between teammates from each country.
The award? A spot in the Olympic 10km Marathon Swim finals in London.
So while a typical swim-off is a short-distance race (50m or 100m) in a pool with the carrot of being able to swim in a pool finals, this open water swimming swim-off in Setubal Bay is a number of 10,000-meter mano-a-mano contests held simultaneously between athletes (and teammates) from numerous countries. 15 hard-working athletes will earn the right to represent themselves and their country in the Olympic finals in front of tens of thousands of fans in the Serpentine in London – the rest will go home. Such is the competitive and cruel world of sports.
So while they are swimming against their fellow teammate, they are also competing against the world and must finish in the top 15 to go to the Olympics.
The following 62 men are entered and ready to enter this battle: no lanes, no lines, no walls…no mercy.
Damian Blaum vs. Luciano Sales Rubio (ARG)
Matthias Schweinzer (AUT)
Sergiy Fesenko (AZE)
Allan Do Carmo vs. Lucas Kanieski (BRA)
Petar Stoychev vs. Ventsislav Aydarski (BUL)
Richard Weinberger vs. Francois Xavier Desharnais (CAN)
Lijun Zu vs. Yuanpeng Lang (CHN)
Kurt Niehaus (CRC)
Tomislav Soldo vs. Josip Culina (CRO)
Iacovos Hadjiconstantinou (CYP)
Rostislav Vítek vs. Jan Pošmourný (CZE)
Santiago Enderica Salgado vs. Ivan Enderica Ochoa (ECU)
Mazen Aziz vs. Ahmed Gad (EGY)
David Davies vs. Daniel Fogg (GBR)
Benjamin Schulte (GUM)
Tin Yu Ling vs. Yeung Lee (HKG)
Csaba Gercsak vs. Gergely Gyurta (HUN)
Divase Mandar Anadarao (IND)
Chris Bryan (IRL)
Michael Dmitriev vs. Yuval Safra (ISR)
Nicola Bolzonello vs. Valerio Cleri (ITA)
Yasunari Hirai vs. Yuto Kobayashi (JPN)
Yuriy Kudinov (KAZ)
Said Saber vs. Mohammed El Mehdi Essadiq (MAR)
Ivan De Jesus Lopez Ramos vs. Luis Ricardo Escobar Torres (MEX)
Marcel Schouten vs. Ferry Weertman (NED)
Kane Radford vs. Jonathan Pullon (NZL)
Ahmed Gebrel (PLE)
Arseniy Lavrentyev vs. Vasco Gaspar (POR)
Gabriel Moldoveanu (ROU)
Troyden Prinsloo vs. Chad Ho (RSA)
Stefan Sigrist vs. Jovan Mitrovic (SUI)
Saleh Mohammad (SYR)
Oussama Mellouli (TUN)
Igor Snitko vs. Igor Chervynskiy (UKR)
Erwin Maldonado vs. Johndry Segovia (VEN)
Watch the swim-offs and Olympic qualification races live on Portuguese television here on June 9th.
Photo by Jim Miller shows Mark Warkentin and Yuriy Kudinov in a close battle.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source