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Haley Anderson Survives Cold Conditions To Capture Open-Water Gold Over Olympic Champion

By Paul D. Bowker | June 09, 2018, 11:10 p.m. (ET)

Haley Anderson competes in the women's open water swimming 10-kilometer at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 on Aug. 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.


Two-time Olympian Haley Anderson knocked off the Olympic champion Saturday in Portugal.

It was just cold enough.

Because the water temperature was below 18 degrees Celsius (64.4 Fahrenheit), both the women’s and men’s races of the FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim World Series event in Setubal, Portugal, featured the swimmers in wetsuits for the first time.

Anderson, who won silver at the Olympic Games London 2012 when open-water swimming made its debut, sped through the cold water quickly enough to defeat 2016 Olympic champion Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands by one second.

“It was a really hard race because currents were really tough,” Anderson told FINA.

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Anderson finished the 10-kilometer race in 2 hours, 5 minutes, 19 seconds.

“When you are leading at the end, you just try to hold on,” said Anderson, who is a two-time world champion at 5 kilometers, a non-Olympic distance. “I know that she (Van Rouwendaal) is really fast, but I am happy for the way I finished the race.”

The next stop of the Marathon Swim World Series is June 16 in Balatonfured, Hungary.

Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is sports editor of the Cape Cod Times and a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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