Ous Mellouli Dominates Men’s Open Water 10K Qualifier

SETUBAL, Portugal, June 10. A day after USC-based Haley Anderson won the women's 10K Olympic qualifier, training partner Ous Mellouli of Tunisia dominated the men's 10K race at the FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier in Setubal, Portugal.

Mellouli, representing Tunisia, smoked the field with a 1:45:18.5 for the win, besting Canada's Richard Weinberger (1:45:30.2) by more than 11 seconds. Bulgaria's Petar Stoychev, an open water veteran, picked up third in 1:45:34.1.

Italy's Valerio Cleri (1:45:36.8), South Africa's Troyden Prinsloo (1:45:40.8), Japan's Yasunari Hirai (1:46:14.6), Ukraine's Igor Chervynskiy (1:46:15.4), Ecuador's Ivan Enderica Ochoa (1:46:17.2), Portugal's Arseniy Lavrentyev (1:46:20.8) and Kazakhstan's Yuriy Kudinov (1:46:22.8) snared the rest of the top 10 Olympic qualifying spots with no nation having two swimmers in the top 10 like the women's race had.

Ous Mellouli flash quotes

It's definitely exciting to qualify for the 10K race. I was probably the least experienced swimmer in the race today, but I'm thrilled to have earned my spot in the 10K event and to qualify for another event at the Olympic Games.

The race in Hyde Park will certainly be a different race from today and it will be very different from racing in the pool. I'm not very experienced so it's not easy for me to compare this to other 10K races. I have only raced once before, earlier this year in Cancun.

I won and today that's all that matters.

My strategy was to get into the lead pack at the start and to challenge for the lead in the last two laps.

The cold water temperature requires a little more energy, but with the adrenalin of the race I was only thinking about my tempo and the race.