SETUBAL, Portugal, June 9. USA's Haley Anderson clinched the women's 10K title at the FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier in Setubal, Portugal. With the victory, Anderson earned herself a spot on the U.S. Olympic squad with Alex Meyer, who already made his way to the Olympic roster in previous qualifying.
Anderson beat out Hungary's Eva Risztov by 1.4 seconds, 1:44:30.6 to 1:44:32.0, for the win. Risztov's second-place time, ahead of teammate Anna Olasz's third-place 1:44:36.8, gave her Hungary's sole spot in London. USA's Ashley Twichell finished fourth with a 1:44.37.7, but did not make the squad since only one swimmer from each country out of the top 10 could make the Olympics.
China's Fang Yanqiao (1:44:38.7), Canada's Zsofia Balazs (1:44:38.8), France's Ophelie Aspord (1:44:42.3), Poland's Natalie Charlos (1:44:42.4), Russia's Anna Guseva (1:44:43.0) and Croatia's Karla Sitic (1:44:45.5) made up the rest of the top 10 to qualify for the Olympics.
Other continental Olympic qualifiers included:
Europe: Olga BERESNYEVA (UKR)
Oceania: Cara BAKER (NZL)
Americas: Yanel PINTO (VEN)
Asia: Heidi GAN (MAS)
Africa: Jessica ROUX (RSA)
Quick quotes from Haley Anderson:
“I knew that I was going to have a good race after swimming well at our Nationals in April. I'm happy to have won the race. and I'm especially happy with the last stretch where I was able to dig deep. I was working with a lot of adrenalin and knew that I had to put my head down and drive hard to the finish line. ”
“I knew that Eva Risztov (HUN) and Ashley Twichell (USA) were ahead of me. Eva was leading for most of the race, and then Ashley challenged her while I stayed close to both of them. It was hard to tell who was who especially when I saw the second Hungarian swimmer and there were two from the USA and two from Hungary, all 4 of us racing for one spot for each country.?
“I was confident in my ability to sprint but I didn't want to take off too early and run out of energy. I wasn't sure how much I had or how long it would last.”
“To qualify for the London Olympics is amazing, I'm speechless. I called my Dad after the race and said “I did it”, but that was about all I can get out of my mouth.”
“I'm excited and I can't wait for London. I have had dreams about what I would like to in London but now that I have more experience and a greater confidence I will be sitting down with my coach to set goals that won't be just for me for also for a great performance for America in the Olympics.”
“Every young swimmer has dreams about making an Olympic team but as you get older sometimes your dreams are affected by reality. My Olympic dreams came into focus.”
“In two weeks I will be in Omaha for the US Olympic trials and the pool is still in my focus too. I'd like to race in both weeks of the Olympics and I'm still planning to swim in every event that I have qualified in. I have cuts in the 200/400/800 free and the 200fly and 400IM. I'm pretty sure my 800 will be strong. It's easier for me to say the 2012 Trials will be more relaxed and I hope fun. In 2008 I was scared and I didn't know where I was going, but I will approach these trials differently.”
“My closing speed was strong and I think my lines were OK, but I'm waiting to hear what the coaches think I can improve on. I know that my turns were bad, they were too wide, so I have things that I work on and things I'm sure I can improve before I race in the Olympic 10k in August.”