Pacing And Positioning At the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games – The Women

Courtesy of WOWSA, Tokyo Bay, Japan.

Pacing and positioning will be so important during the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in Odaiba Marine Park at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Coaches from USA’s Catherine Kase to France’s Stéphane Lecat will match wits with each other before the gun starts at the marathon swimming final, but once the race starts, all tactical and strategic decisions will ultimately be made by the swimmers in real-time.

In the flat water like Odaiba, I think the speed is going to be blazing fast – like nothing the sport has yet seen,” predicted Steven Munatones. “Even in the warm-water, high-humidity conditions expected in early August in Tokyo, the women will be flying around the six-loop course. There will only be 25 swimmers in the race, but I have no idea is the field will spread out or be swimming in close proximity to one another.

In an easy-to-navigate, easy-to-sight, tight course, no one can afford to be too far behind. The top women are experienced and know each other’s strengths and tendencies well. There are come-from-behind swimmers like Xin Xin and Rachele Bruni and like-to-stay-in-the-front-pack swimmers like Lara Grangeon and respond-to-the-situation-at-hand like Haley Anderson and Ana Marcela Cunha. I highly expect the field – from front to about the 15th swimmer to be pretty tight until the 7-8 km mark.

Navigational IQ will take a back seat to situational awareness and speed around the turn buoys – because every second counts.

A review of the positioning that the top women did at the 2019 FINA World Championships last summer in South Korea is telling.

Pacing and positioning are going to be so critical to get on the podium at the Olympics. With each loop, the risks of being out of position and dropping off the pace become higher and higher. Conversely, the positioning within the tight loops as the race gets closer to the finish becomes more and more important
.”

Xin Xin (China) positioning at 2019 World Championships (gold medalist)
Split 1: 51st, +22.9 seconds behind lead pack
Split 2: 55th, +36.2 seconds behind leader
Split 3: 44th, +31.1 seconds behind leader
Split 4: 35th, +26.1 seconds behind leader
Split 5: tied for 42nd, +28.5 seconds behind leader
Split 6: 40th, +20.7 seconds behind leader
Split 7: 36th, +13.6 seconds behind leader
Split 8: 37th, +16.2 seconds behind leader
Split 9: 36th, +17.8 seconds behind leader
Split 10: 36th, +18.6 seconds behind leader
Split 11: 36th, +28.8 seconds behind leader
Split 12: 20th, +13.6 seconds behind leader
Split 13: tied for 28th, +14.6 seconds behind leader
Split 14: 24th, +16.5 seconds behind leader
Split 15: 5th, +5.9 seconds behind leader
Split 16: 2nd, +1.2 seconds behind leader
Split 17: 4th,+3.4 seconds behind leader
Finish: 1:54:47.2, gold medal time

Haley Anderson (USA) positioning at 2019 World Championships (silver medalist)
Split 1: 20th, +10.1 seconds behind leader
Split 2: 17th, +8.0 seconds behind leader
Split 3: 18th, +9.6 seconds behind leader
Split 4: 5th, +2.8 seconds behind leader
Split 5: tied for 13th, +3.9 seconds behind leader
Split 6: 2nd, +0.3 seconds behind leader
Split 7: 3rd, +1.5 seconds behind leader
Split 8: 2nd, +2.0 seconds behind leader
Split 9: 6th, +4.7 seconds behind leader
Split 10: 2nd, +0.9 seconds behind leader
Split 11: 2th, +1.5 seconds behind leader
Split 12: 10th, +8.4 seconds behind leader
Split 13: 13th, +7.7 seconds behind leader
Split 14: 8th, +8.4 seconds behind leader
Split 15: 11th, +11.5 seconds behind leader
Split 16: NA
Split 17: 3rd, +2.1 seconds behind leader
Finish: 1:54:48.1, silver medal time, +0.9 behind leader

Rachele Bruni (Italy) positioning at 2019 World Championships (bronze medalist)
Split 1: tied for 34th, +17.3 seconds behind leader
Split 2: 31st, +19.4 seconds behind leader
Split 3: 28th, +16.1 seconds behind leader
Split 4: 24th, +13.7 seconds behind leader
Split 5: 27th, +14.3 seconds behind leader
Split 6: 30th, +15.6 seconds behind leader
Split 7: 41st, +15.8 seconds behind leader
Split 8: 40th, +18.1 seconds behind leader
Split 9: 23rd, +11.9 seconds behind leader
Split 10: 22nd, +9.8 seconds behind leader
Split 11: NA
Split 12: 15th, +11.5 seconds behind leader
Split 13: 17th, +9.9 seconds behind leader
Split 14: 19th, +14.1 seconds behind leader
Split 15: 10th, +9.9 seconds behind leader
Split 16: 8th, +7.0 seconds behind leader
Split 17: 8th, +5.3 seconds behind leader
Finish: 1:54:49.9, bronze medal time, +2.7 behind leader

Lara Grangeon (France) positioning at 2019 World Championships (4th place)
Split 1: 1st
Split 2: 1st
Split 3: 2nd, +0.5 seconds behind leader
Split 4: 3rd, +2.4 seconds behind leader
Split 5: 1st
Split 6: 4th, +1.4 seconds behind leader
Split 7: 4th, +1.6 seconds behind leader
Split 8: 3rd, +2.6 seconds behind leader
Split 9: 1st
Split 10: 1st
Split 11: 1st
Split 12: 2nd, +0.7 seconds behind leader
Split 13: 3rd, +2.2 seconds behind leader
Split 14: 1st
Split 15: 2nd, +2.1 seconds behind leader
Split 16: 3rd, +3.5 seconds behind leader
Split 17: 2nd, +1.8 seconds behind leader
Finish: 1:48:01.9, 4th place time +6.0 seconds behind leader

Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil) positioning at 2019 World Championships (5th place)
Split 1: 4th, +2.9 seconds behind leader
Split 2: tied for 2nd, +4.2 seconds behind leader
Split 3: 1st
Split 4: 8th, +3.4 seconds behind leader
Split 5: 15th, +4.1 seconds behind leader
Split 6: 5th, +2.2 seconds behind leader
Split 7: 6th, +2.3 seconds behind leader
Split 8: 4th, +3.0 seconds behind leader
Split 9: 4th, +3.7 seconds behind leader
Split 10: 10th, +3.7 seconds behind leader
Split 11: 13th, +8.7 seconds behind leader
Split 12: 8th, +6.9 seconds behind leade
Split 13: 10th, +5.6 seconds behind leader
Split 14: tied for 10th, +10.3 seconds behind leader
Split 15: 4th, +4.2 seconds behind leader
Split 16: 4th, +3.7 seconds behind leader
Split 17: 6th, +3.9 seconds behind leader
Finish: 1:54:50.5, 5th place time, +3.3 behind leader

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