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Open Water Swimmer Jordan Wilimovsky Becomes First Man To Qualify For 2020 U.S. Olympic Team

By Todd Kortemeier | July 15, 2019, 8:51 p.m. (ET)


Three of Team USA’s open water swimmers now know their plans for August 2020.

Jordan Wilimovsky became the first American man to book his place at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and will join teammates Haley Anderson and Ashley Twichell as Team USA’s open water contingent at Games. It will be the second Olympic appearance for the 24-year-old from Malibu, California.

Wilimovsky needed a top-10 finish in the men's 10-kilometer at the world championships to automatically qualify for Tokyo. He finished fifth, 5.1 seconds back from the winner, in a time of 1 hour and 48 minutes.

Wilimovsky, 25, burst onto the open water scene in 2015 with a 10K national championship that qualified him for the world championships, where he then won the gold medal and qualified for the Olympic Games Rio 2016. He also qualified in the pool for Rio, becoming the first American to qualify for both swimming disciplines in one Olympic Games. In Rio he finished fourth in the 1,500 freestyle and fifth in the 10K. The next year he earned 10K silver at worlds. He was inspired to become a swimmer after failing a lifeguard test as a 9-year-old. He competed for Northwestern, finishing third in the 1,650-yard freestyle at NCAAs in 2015.

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Wilimovsky will be looking to become the first American man to win an open water medal at the Olympic Games. Since the discipline’s debut in 2008 in Beijing, only Anderson has won an open water swimming medal for Team USA.

Open water swimming will be the last events of the swimming calendar in Tokyo, taking place Aug. 5 and 6 in the waters of Tokyo Bay.

Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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