Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The Olympic 10K Marathon Swim was initially held at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in a four-loop rowing basin course. The 2012 London Olympics marathon swim was held in a six-loop course in the Serpentine under tranquil conditions and the 2016 Rio Olympics marathon event will be held in rough water conditions on Copacabana Beach.

Three different continents, three different venues, three different conditions.

But the only constants on the men’s side have been Spyridon Gianniotis of Greece and Erwin Maldonado of Venezuela.

In 2008, Maldonado finished 10th in 1:52:13.6 and Gianniotis finished 16th in 1:52:20.4. In 2012, Gianniotis finished 4th in 1:50:05.3 and Maldonado finished 13th in 1:50:52.9.

Maldonado and especially Gianniotis are well-positioned to do well in Copacabana Beach.

With rough water and large rolling ocean swells expected, the marathon swim will be much different than previous Olympics. Feeding done via boats, so the unexpected can be expected. This is exactly where Maldonado and Gianniotis can excel.

The only constants on the women’s side have been Keri-Anne Payne of Great Britain and Poliana Okimoto of Brazil.

In 2008, Payne finished 2nd in 1:59:29.2 and Okimoto finished 7th in 1:59:37.4. In 2012, Payne finished 4th in 1:57:42.2 and Okimoto did not finish.

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