Broken ribs, concussion, black eyes and fat lips are all occupational hazards in physical sports, but not injuries a competitor would expect to receive in swimming.
However, the open water fraternity, who begin their competition at the world championships with the women's 10km event on Tuesday, face these dangers every time they race in a discipline that requires a certain type of mentality.
"Yeah, totally. Everyone calls me crazy," New Zealand's 5km and 10km entrant Cara Baker told Reuters on Monday.
"I have been quite lucky not to get quite badly hurt, but I know someone who almost broke a rib after they were kicked."
The 21-year-old Baker ended up "black and blue" at the world open water championships in Canada last year and finished with a badly bruised lip and face, which "was a bit of a shock".
"You are going to get hit no matter what but you've just got to be aware of what's going on around you," she added.
"But I love doing open water. It's so different. It's so unpredictable on what's going to happen."
Baker is New Zealand's only entrant in the women's events at Jinshan City Beach, south of Shanghai, with 20-year-old Kane Raford entered in the men's 5km race, which is on Friday.
The 10km races, however, have added importance this year with the top-10 finishers in the event automatically qualifying for next year's London Olympics.
The final 15 places will be available for London at another qualifying event in Portugal next year, with that event adding pressure on the swimmers, particularly from smaller countries like New Zealand.
"There is a lot riding on this," New Zealand's open water manager Philip Rush said. "Everybody is very hungry for those top-10 positions.
"All of a sudden, once you have qualified here you can sit down and plan their (swimmers) training for the next 12 months to get them in the best possible shape (for London).
"If we don't qualify (in Shanghai) there is a two-month period when they still have to go qualify and that includes a lot of travel."
Rush, a former marathon swimmer, said he expected Australia's Mel Gorman, along with the British duo of Keri-Anne Payne and Cassandra Patten to be medal contenders and among the swimmers for Baker to stay in touch with on Tuesday.
"From six to 14th its going to be anybody's race," Rush said.
"The male race, they give each other a bit of space because they're big strong boys and if they start pushing each other they waste a lot of energy.
"They let the race go until about seven kilometres then the race starts, (whereas) the females attack it from the start."
Rush said there had been a consistent slight breeze in the area which was giving the course a bit of chop and would play into the hands of the bigger, stronger swimmers.
Baker said she had felt "really good" on her final training swim around the course on Monday and was now focused on race tactics.
"It's pretty much... making sure I don't get boxed up like I did last year (when she finished 17th in the 10km in Canada)," she said.
"I just have to make sure that I position myself in an area that I know is going to be comfortable for me and then it'll just be that last lap, which is 2.5km that it'll pretty much be all on.
"I just have to keep trying pushing it forward and making sure I'm in the places I need to be."
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