After leading the pack for nearly an hour, the Netherlands’ Sharon van Rouwendaal raced to gold in the open water marathon after one hour, 56 minutes and 32.1 seconds. It’s the first Rio Olympics medal for the Netherlands in an aquatic event.
It wasn’t van Rouwendaal’s first race in Rio, however; she finished 19th overall in the 400m freestyle in the pool, and was entered in the 800m freestyle but did not race.
The race for silver and bronze was more intense. Aurelie Muller of France, the 2015 world champion in the event, finished in second place. She out-touched Rachele Bruni of Italy by 0.8 seconds. However, after undergoing review, officials disqualified Muller for unsportsmanlike behavior after interfering with Bruni’s finishing touch. Brazil’s Poliana Okimoto, who was fourth by about two seconds, was upgraded to the bronze medal. It is Brazil’s first aquatics gold medal of the 2016 Olympics. Okimoto was the 2013 world champion in the 10k, and raced in the London event, but had to withdraw due to hypothermia.
The U.S.’ Haley Anderson, who won a silver medal in the 2012 marathon swim, placed fifth with her time of 1:57.20.2.