Updated May 12, 2008
PHOENIX, Arizona, May 11. USA Swimming will send Kirsten Groome and Chloe Sutton to compete for the lone 10K open water spot available for the U.S. at the Beijing Test Event.
Catherine Vogt has also been named the coach for the pair heading to Beijing on May 31.
"Having a second chance at reaching my Olympic dreams is a dream come true on its own," Sutton told Swimming World. "I've become a different person since open water trials in Florida. I'm much stronger and more mature now. I'm honored to be able to represent the U.S., and I'm very excited and confident to do my very best in Beijing."
USA Swimming confirmed the news on May 12 with one addition – Paul Asmuth will also join the team heading to Beijing as a coach.
Here is the complete release:
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The U.S. will send two female swimmers to Beijing, China to compete in the final Olympic qualifier for the 10K open water swim, May 31-June 1. Chloe Sutton (Roseville, Calif.) and Kirsten Groome (Baltimore, Md.) will represent the USA at the event.
While the U.S. will send both Sutton and Groome to the Beijing Test Event, only one U.S. swimmer can only qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games at the competition. Top finishers at the Beijing Test Event will fill the remaining places for the Olympic 10K marathon swim as only 25 women and 25 men can compete in the event's Olympic debut.
"Kirsten and Chloe are skilled athletes who have proven themselves in international competition," said Mark Schubert, National Team head coach and general manager. "These two swimmers are among our brightest rising stars in open water, and we are hopeful that one of them will advance to represent the U.S. in the Olympic 10K race."
Groome recently competed in the 5th FINA Open Water World Championships in Seville, Spain, where she placed 21st in the 10K open water swim. The top 10 swimmers in the 10K event at World Championships earned an automatic Olympic berth. Sutton, who is a two-time 10K National Champion, earned a bronze medal in the 5K at the Open Water World Championships. In 2007, Sutton also took home a gold medal in the 10K open water swim at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The U.S. will not send any male swimmers to the Beijing Test Event as American swimmer Mark Warkentin (Santa Barbara, Calif.) qualified for the Olympics following his 7th place finish in the men's 10K at the Open Water World Championships in Seville.
Catherine Vogt and Paul Asmuth will coach Sutton and Groome at the Beijing Test Event. At the recent Open Water World Championships, Vogt served as an assistant coach while Asmuth served as the special assistant to the national team head coach.