It seemed like Jarrod Poort’s race the whole time; the adage “it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon” didn’t apply for the Australian. Poort jumped out to an early lead in Tuesday morning’s open water marathon swim off Fort Copacabana and didn’t let go, at one point extending his lead over the field by more than a minute.
The chase pack though, which included 2012 Olympic champion Ous Mellouli and 2015 Worlds silver medalist Ferry Weertman of the Netherlands, slowly reeled him in.
Weertman sprinted for the finish with 1500 meters remaining and touched for first place. After a few minutes of waiting while officials examined the photo finish, Weertman was awarded the gold for his time of one hour, 52 minutes and 59.8 seconds.
Weertman becomes just the second Dutchman ever to win the 10k title, as countryman Maarten van der Weijden won gold in 2008, the inaugural 10k race. It is also the first time any country has swept the gold medals in the 10k, as his fellow teammate Sharon van Rouwendaal claimed gold in the women’s 10k on Monday.
Spyridon Gianniotis of Greece, competing in his fifth Olympic Games, took the silver medal with his matching time of 1:52.59.8. France’s Marc-Antoine Olivier was awarded the bronze, racing to 1:53.02.0, though China’s Zu Lijun raced to the same time, too.
Team USA’s Jordan Wilimovsky, who won the 10k world title in 2015, was part of the final sprint pack making a move, but finished fifth with his time of 1:53.03.2.
Poort ultimately finished in 20th place.
Wilimovsky’s U.S. teammate Sean Ryan was disqualified along with Great Britain’s Jack Burnell and Kazakhstan’s Vitaliy Khudyakov.