Jordan Wilimovsky won a silver medal in the men’s open water swimming 10-kilometer at the FINA World Championships Tuesday in Budapest, Hungary, giving Team USA its fifth all-time medal in the event and first swimming medal of this year’s event.
Wilimovsky, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, finished in 1 hour, 51 minutes, 58.6 seconds, just one-tenth of a second behind winner Ferry Weertman of the Netherlands. The result is even more impressive given that after the first of four laps, Wilimovsky was 31 seconds back and in 49th place.
As the swim continued, however, the Malibu, California, native barreled ahead and worked his way into medal contention. Heading into the final 2.5K lap, he had surged into sixth place and was just seven seconds behind Weertman. The final 200 meters was an all-out sprint between the three eventual medalists, who would end up separated by just seven-tenths of a second.
Weertman won in 1:51:58.5, and France’s Marc-Antoine Olivier was third in 1:51:59.2.
“It was a fun race,” Wilimovsky said. “I just tried to stay at the back for the first two laps and then build into it. I probably let myself get a little too far behind. I worked to make my way back up to the front, and I got into a good spot I think heading into the final stretch and I had good position for the sprint. I had a little left at the end, but just got out-touched at the end. I’m happy to get on the podium for the USA.”
Along with the gold medal he won in 2015, Wilimovsky is now the only American man with multiple medals in the event.