|SETUBAL BAY, Portugal. June 9. THE women's 2012 FINA Olympic 10km Marathon Swimming Qualifier will be held today in Portugal's Setubal Bay at 4 p.m. Portugal time (or 8 a.m. Pacific Time).
The Qualifier in Setubal Bay is essentially a swim-off within a race within a qualifier: it is the ultimate strategic head-to-head competition in 61?F water.
Athletes will be racing against their teammates for only the fastest in each country has a chance to go. The top 10 have a chance to qualify for the Olympics, if they are the fastest of their country. Then, in a complicated formula, the top finisher in each of the 5 continents will qualify. For example, if there is no athlete from the continent from Africa in the top 10 finishers, then the fastest swimmer from the continent of Africa will qualify. [Note: in this case, it is practically a race between the Egyptian and South Africans).
The stakes, the pressure and the pay-off could not be higher.
The following 41 women are entered and ready to enter this battle: no lanes, no lines, no walls...no mercy.
Inha Kotsur (AZE)
Nadine Williams vs. Zsofia Balazs (CAN)
Xue Li vs. Yanqiao Fang (CHN)
Karla Sitic (CRO)
Alexandra Philippa Panayides vs. Irene Kyza (CYP)
Nataly Caldas Calle (ECU)
Laila El-Bassiouni (EGY)
Ophelie Aspord vs. Corali Codvelle (FRA)
Wing Yung Natasha Terri Tang vs. Fiona On-Yi Chan (HKG)
Anna Olasz vs. Eva Risztov (HUN)
Yumi Kida (JPN)
Rania El Abdi vs. Omaima Moufid (MAR)
Heidi Gan (MAS)
Lizeth Rueda Santos vs. Alejandra Gonzalez Lara (MEX)
Maaike Waaijer vs. Linsy Heister (NED)
Charlotte Webby vs. Cara Baker (NZL)
Natalia Charlos (POL)
Daniela Pinto vs. Ang?lica Andr? (POR)
Jessica Roux vs. Natalie du Toit (RSA)
Anna Guseva vs. Ekaterina Seliverstova (RUS)
Zupan Teja (SLO)
Ellen Olsson (SWE)
Olga Beresnyeva vs. Al'Ona Berbasova (UKR)
Haley Anderson vs. Ashley Twichell (USA)
Yanel Pinto vs. Carla D?az (VEN)
Watch the swim-offs and Olympic qualification races live on Portuguese television (here) or online (here or here today at 4 pm Portugal time today.
Courtesy of Open Water Source