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Dolphins book four open water spots for Paris

The four spots on the Australian Open Water team for the 2024 Olympics in Paris have been decided following the World Aquatics World Championships 10km race in Doha.

The Australian Open Water team booked its full Olympic complement after Nicholas Sloman and Kyle Lee finished in the Top 10 of today’s World Aquatics World Championships 10km race in Doha.

Sloman, in the best shape of his career, finished 5th in 1hr:48:29.60 while Lee tenaciously held on in a hot final lap to touch in 9th (1hr:48:31.20).

They joined fellow Dolphin Moesha Johnson, who was bashed and crashed on her way to a frantic fourth place on Saturday in the women’s 10km, in booking the remaining available three places on offer for Paris 2024.

While selection must still be ratified by the Australian Olympic Committee, the three will make their Olympic debut alongside Chelsea Gubecka, who was in the stands cheering alongside her Australian pool teammates.

“I know what it’s like to miss out after Tokyo so there was no way I was going to let this chance pass,” Sloman, 26, said.

“It hurt, particularly when the pace picked up in that final lap, but I knew I had to stay in touch with leaders.”

Lee, 21, executed his race plan to perfection, holding his position in the lead group by owning the space in front of him to work his way through the field.

“I just can’t believe it, I stuck to our plan and I guess it worked,” the understated Lee said.

Team leader and Swimming Australia’s High Performance Director Greg Shaw said to secure all four Olympic positions, for the first time, highlighted Australia’s growing impact on international waters.

“Nic and Kyle today showed how open water is a race of opportunities and the power of decision making, this is a really tight group and shared intelligence of this group just keeps growing,” Shaw said.

It was Hungarian Kristof Rasovszky (1hr:48:21.20) that produced a powerful burst 400m to go to kick clear of the large lead group to win ahead of France’s Marc-Antoine Oliver and Britain’s Hector Pardow.

With Old Doha Port, the venue for the open water, hosting three big cruise liners with a combined passenger capacity of more than 16,000 over the next two days, competition has paused and resumes with the men’s and women’s 5km on Wednesday.

  • Written by Ocean Swims on 5 February 2024
  • (Updated on 5 February 2024)

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