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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Ilchenko wins 10-km swimming, amputee du Toit finishes 16th


BEIXIAOYING TOWN, China -- Larisa Ilchenko of Russia has won the gold medal in the women's 10-kilometer marathon swim, an event making its Olympic debut.

Ilchenko sprinted from behind in the closing meters and finished the grueling 6.2-mile race in 1 hour, 59 minutes, 27.7 seconds, Wednesday morning in the shallow, calm water at the Shunyi Rowing-Canoeing Park.

Keri-Anne Payne of Britain took the silver in 1:59.40.7. Her teammate, Cassandra Patten, earned the bronze in 1:59.42.3.

Natalie du Toit of South Africa, an amputee who removed her carbon-fiber prosthetic left leg before diving in, finished 16th.