Olympics: Russia’s Ilchenko Wins Women’s 10km Marathon Swim

BEIJING: Russia’s Larisa Ilchenko won the gold medal for the Olympic Games women’s 10 kilometres marathon swim here on Wednesday in a time of 1 hour 59.27 minutes.

Britain’s Keri-Anne Payne claimed silver having led for most of the race, in a time of 1 hours 59.29 minutes, alongside compatriot Cassandra Patten who took bronze in 1 hour 59.31 minutes.

With an hour gone, the British pair had a five-metre gap over the leading pack, which included Russian open water teenage specialist Ilchenko, at Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Caboeing Park on the outskirts of Beijing.

Ilchenko has dominated open water swimming since 2004, winning five consecutive 5km world championships and three straight 10km races.

The Russian 19-year-old sat behind the British pair with Brazilian duo Poliana Okimoto, 25, and 16-year-old Ana Chunka until just before the two hour stage, when she closed the gap.

She chased down the Brits along with Germany’s Angela Maurer, who eventually finished fourth, and the Russian was clear for the final 100 metres as her rivals tired.

South African Natalie du Toit, the first amputee to qualify for the Olympic Games, finished 16th.

– AFP/yb

Channel News Asia

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