In a sprint finish, Xin Xin of China won gold in the women’s 10km open water event at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships. In terms of Olympic qualification, the top 10 athletes all qualify a spot to the games. Open water swimming at the World Aquatics Championships is currently being held in Gwangju, South Korea from July 13th to July 19th 2019.
The 64-person race saw many lead changes across the 17 splits. France’s Lara Grangeon held the lead for most of the race, leading in seven splits, but her compatriot Aurelie Muller held the lead for five of the final six splits before a group of about a dozen swimmers all sprinted towards the finish line. Unfortunately for the defending world champion, Muller finished 11th, just outside of an Olympic quota. In the end it was Xin Xin of China whom outsprinted her opponents to win the event with a time of 1:54:47.2. Haley Anderson of the United States finished second with a time of 1:54:48.1 while Italy’s Rachele Bruni finished third with a time of 1:54:49.9.
Rounding out the top 10 and also winning quotas were Lara Grangeon (France), Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil), Ashley Twichell (United States), Kareena Lee (Australia), Finnia Wunram (Germany), Leonie Beck (Germany) and Sharon van Rouwendaal (Netherlands).
Xin will be looking to win her first Olympic medal after finishing fourth in 2016. The final opportunity for nations to qualify in women’s 10km open water will be at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier. The men’s event at the World Aquatics Championships is scheduled to be held on Tuesday.