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The start of something extraordinary

Baker 23rd in Barcelona 10km Open Water Swim

Queensland-based kiwi swimmer Cara Baker has finished 23rd, only 19 seconds back from the winner, in the women’s 10km open water swim at the FINA World Championships in Barcelona today. Baker, who finished in a share of fifth place in the 5km earlier in the week, was nestled in the front pack until the blow torch went on over the final 2.5km lap on the technical U-shaped course around the Barcelona Marina.

The Brazilian pair of Poliana Okimoto Cintra and Ana Marcela Cunha won gold and silver, after both medalled in the 5km race, managing to stay out of a congested main pack behind in what proved an aggressive and physical race with several favourites finishing out of contention.
Swimming New Zealand Open Water Manager Phillip Rush said Baker had swum strongly but could not go with the jump in pace in the final lap.

“Like the men’s race, the quality across the board in open water swimming has gone to another level even since the Olympics,” Rush said. “The times and the depth of talent were outstanding.

“Cara, like Kane Radford, has improved for sure and while a top 16 was their big goal, they should be proud of their achievements in what has been some very impressive open water competition.”

Robinson, from Wellington, fought on after losing contact with the main pack on the final lap to finish 34th in her debut in 2:01.47.

It is not over yet for the New Zealand trio of Baker, Radford and Philip Ryan who will take part in Friday’s team relay, for the first time. The time is taken on the final swimmer of the trio across the line in the 5km event.

Results, women’s 10km open water swim: Poliana Okimoto Cintra (BRA) 1:58.19.2, 1; Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) 1:58.19.5, 2; Angela Maurer (GER) 1:58.20.2, 3. Also: Cara Baker (NZL) 1:58.38, 23; Emma Robinson (NZL) 2:01.47, 34.