Tokyo 2020 - Florian Wellbrock dominates men's marathon swimming as Great Britain's Hector Pardoe fails to finish
The German world champion added Olympic open water gold to the bronze he won in the 1500 metres in the pool at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre earlier at these Olympics. Kristof Rasovszky survived a surging finish from Italian defending champion Gregorio Paltrinieri in the final metres to hold on to silver. You want it? We have it. Stream every Olympic event live on discovery+
Germany's Florian Wellbrock competes to win and take gold in the men's 10km marathon swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo on August 5, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)
The open-water event was again contested in searing heat at Odaiba Marine Park, with temperatures above 30 degrees celsius soon after an early start.
Wellbrock led virtually from start to finish in a performance of real endurance and strength.
Marc-Antoine Olivier had pushed into the lead briefly near the halfway mark of the seven lap race, but the Frenchman faded to sixth at the finish.
Wellbrock's winning time was 1:48:33.7, 25.3 seconds ahead of Rasovszky (1:48:59.0).
There was disappointment for Great Britain's Hector Pardoe, with the Olympic debutant failing to finish after suffering a cut above his eye.
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The Montpellier-based swimmer was in 20th when he climbed out of the water, and was seen heading for medical attention on land.
"I was coming through the field and felt ok with a lap to go, I felt like I could of secured a top 12 and then it was over," said Pardoe, who also lost his goggles.
For Wellbrock, this was confirmation of the arrival of a potential new distance-swimming great.
The German had taken his first Olympic medal behind Robert Finke of the USA and Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine in the longest event in the pool, but produced an outstanding swim to secure a first Olympic title.
He had won both the 1500m and the 10km open water in Gwangju two years ago.
Paltrinieri's bronze completes his personal set - the Italian, who burst on the scene by making the Olympic 1500m final as a teenager at London 2012, had won silver in the 800m freestyle in the pool earlier at Tokyo 2020.
That followed the gold he had won in the 1500m in Rio de Janeiro five years ago.
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