PHOENIX, Arizona, August 10. OUS Mellouli, swimming in just his third official open water race, won today's Olympic 10K race over more established open water swimmers. Taking control in the fifth of the six laps around the Serpentine in Hyde Park, Mellouli won by three seconds, touching the finish pad in one hour, 49 minutes and 55 seconds. Thomas Lurz, the legendary open water swimmer, upgraded his 2008 bronze to silver and Canada's Richard Weinberger, who was 10th in last summer's world championships, won bronze in a close battle with Spyridos Gianniotis, who finished in fourth place. Alex Meyer of the United States was part of the pack for the first half of the race, but fell off the pace at the end and was tenth at the finish, 53 seconds behind Mellouli.
The United States won the most golds and the most overall medals in swimming with 31, if you combine pool and open water results. Japan was second with 11 total medals, and Australia and China tied with 10 medals each.
The United States women's water polo team finally has the Olympic gold medal in their grasp after finishing second or third in the past four Olympics. Maggie Steffens was the MVP of the gold medal match, scoring five of the eight goals in the 8-5 win over Spain. Since women's water polo was introduced to the Olympics in 2000, the United States had won two silvers and a bronze, and a few of the players on this year's team had been on all four medal-winning squads. Australia won the bronze medal with a score of 13-11 over Hungary.
Spain got some level of revenge today on the United States in the men's water polo tournament, beating them 8-7. With the win, Spain will finish fifth in the men's tournament, and the United States will be sixth. Croatia is going to the gold medal match after beating Montenegro 7-5, and the other team in the gold medal final will be the winner of the Italy-Serbia game later today.
The final diving event starts today with preliminary rounds of men's platform. China is looking for a seventh diving gold medal as they wrap up a dominating performance in the diving well of the London Aquatics Center.
The US Open in Indianapolis continues to feature some great performances by swimmers we could see challenge for Olympic spots in 2016. Megan Hawthorne and Sarah Henry continue to improve in the 400 IM, and they went 1-2 last night, with Hawthorne getting first in 4:40.43 and Henry just behind in 4:40.90. Erika Erndl, who is continuing to impress at 34 years old, won the 100 fly in a personal best of 58.75.
Today's women's 200 freestyle race will be a great battle. Megan Romano and Chelsea Chenault were seventh and eighth at the Olympic Trials in this event, and will be looking to swim faster than they did in Omaha. Romano is also the American record holder in the yards 200 free. And don't count out Jasmine Tosky, who was on the 800 free relay team for the United States at last summer's world championships. Another great battle is shaping up for the men's 100 breast final. Kevin Cordes and Mike Alexandrov were in the 100 breast final at Trials, and John Criste had a great prelim swim in Omaha before faltering in semis. All three swam 1:00 at Trials and will be looking for a sub-minute swim tonight.
The US Open concludes tomorrow, and you can get complete recaps on swimmingworld.com.