With their spots on the Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team already secured earlier in the week, Abbey Weitzeil and Simone Manuel added to their schedule in Brazil by placing first and second, respectively, in the women’s 50 freestyle at the U.S. Olympic Trials for Swimming Sunday evening at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
Weitzeil won the sprint in a time of 24,28 seconds, the fifth-fastest time in the world thus far this season, while Manuel touched in 24.33 seconds, just ahead of Madison Kennedy’s 24.48.
Weitzeil secured a spot on her first Olympic Team Friday with by setting the U.S. record in the women’s 100-meter free with a time of 53.28. The 19-year-old made her senior international debut at the 2014 Pan Pacific championships, where she won bronze on the 4x100 relay team. She won gold in the 4x100 relay and silver in the 100-meter free at the 2015 World University Games, and also won bronze in the 4x100 at the 2015 world championships.
Manuel claims her third starting spot in Rio after making the team Friday in the 100-meter freestyle and earning a spot in the 4x100 relay team. She made history for Stanford University at the 2015 NCAA championships, winning the 100-yard freestyle title to become the first African-American woman to medal at an NCAA Division I swimming championship, then closed out the meet with the 50- and 200-yard free titles. She will celebrate her 20th birthday in Rio three days before Opening Ceremony.
Since the 50-meter freestyle was added to the Olympic program at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games, the United States has won five medals. The lone gold was won by Amy Van Dyken at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, and the most recent medal was a silver won by Dara Torres in 2008 in Beijing.
Connor Jaeger and Jordan Wilimovsky claimed the final two slots on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team by placing first and second, respectively, in the men’s 1500 freestyle. The duo ran away with the race, opening a 17-second lead on the field to win going away. Jaeger touched first in 14:47.61, more than six seconds off his American record of 14:41.20, while Wilimovsky recorded a time of 14:49.19.
Jaeger had won the men’s 400 freestyle last Sunday to lock down a spot on his second Olympic Team. He placed sixth in the 1500 freestyle at the London 2012 Olympic Games, 12.68 seconds shy of a podium finish. A two-time national champion at 1500 meters (2013, 2014), he won silver in the event at the 2015 world championships after placing fourth in 2013, when he won bronze in the 400 free. He earned three medals at the 2014 Pan Pacific championships, including a gold in the 1500 and bronzes in the 400 and 800 freestyle. A seven-time NCAA All-American at the University of Michigan, he was the Big Ten Swimmer of the Year, earning all-conference honors three times.
Wilimovsky scored a spot in the pool after punching his ticket to Rio in the open water swim and now becomes the first man do the 1500/open water double. The reigning world champion in the 10-kilometer event, he won the 2015 U.S. 10-kilometer open water title after taking silver in both the 10-kilometer and the 5-kilometer open water in 2014 and silver in the 5-kilometer in 2013. Earlier this year the 22-year-old native of Malibu, California, received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Northwestern University. He placed 17th at the 2012 Olympic Trials.
The United States has won a total of 18 Olympic medals in the 1500 freestyle, including five golds and six silvers. Americans have swept gold and silver in the event twice, at the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games and again in Los Angeles in 1984. The last U.S. swimmer to bring home a medal in the event was Larsen Jensen, who claimed silver at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.