Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park, Mapo, Shunyi
Date Started: August 20, 2008
Date Finished: August 20, 2008
Format: Final only.
More than any other event on the women's programme, the open water swim had a clear gold medal favourite. [Lara Ilchenko] of Russia had won five successive world titles at 5 km and the last three over 10 km. The pattern of the race emerged at an early stage with the British pair of [Cassie Patten] and [Keri-Anne Payne] moving to the front of the pack and forcing the pace. The tactic worked to the point that only two others were able to follow. Ilchenko stayed on the shoulders of the leaders before unleashing her sprint with 110 metres to go. She sped clear to finish ahead of Payne with Patten edging [Angela Maurer] of Germany for the bronze medal. [Natalie du Toit] of South Africa finished in 16th position. Du Toit had represented her nation at the age of 14 but lost a leg in a motorcycle accident in 2001. She came to world attention by winning five titles at the 2004 Paralympic Games then in 2008 qualified for the Olympic Games by placing 4th at the World Championships.