2012 London Summer Olympics: Women's Swimming

The most grueling swimming event at the London Olympics Games, the women's open water race, was won by Hungary's Eva Risztov by an extremely narrow margin of 0.4 seconds, at London's Hyde Park on Thursday.

Risztov, 26, led for most part in the Serpentine lake, but finished marginally ahead of the United States' Haley Anderson, clocking 1hr 57min 38.2sec. Martina Grimaldi of Italy came third, while home favorite, Keri-Anne Payne finished fourth in one of the most closely-contested water marathons in Olympic history. The time difference between the top and fourth placed swimmer was less than four seconds.

Risztov, who also took part in the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympics but in the swimming pool, had called it quits in 2005. But she returned in 2009, this time as a marathon specialist. The event was launched at the Beijing Games in 2008 and was won by Russia's Larisa Ilchenko.

Britain's Payne, who was the favorite for the title after settling for silver in Beijing, was heartbroken after missing the podium.

Risztov was leading at the end of the first 1.7km lap with a timing of 19:22.2sec, with Australia's Melissa Gorman and Payne giving her a close fight. In fact, Gorman pulled ahead at the start of the second lap and, as the third lap commenced, Anderson was enjoying a 1.6sec lead over Payne, while Risztov was only marginally behind at third.

But at the halfway mark, the event featuring 24 swimmers, saw Risztov and Grimaldi pulling ahead of Anderson, with Payne slipping to fourth. The grueling 10km race saw Jessica Roux (South Africa) and Poliana Okimoto (Brazil) pull out, but a determined pack of five swimmers --- Risztov, Grimaldi, Anderson, Germany's Angela Maurer and Payne --- broke away from the pack and finished the race bunched up.


Gold: Eva Risztov (HUN);

Silver: Haley Anderson (USA);

Bronze: Martina Grimaldi (ITA).



Hungary's Eva Risztov Wins Grueling 10km Open Water Race