Ashley Twichell, Haley Anderson Qualify For World Championships in 10K

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Ashley Twichell and Haley Anderson will swim the 10K at World Championships this summer; Photo Courtesy: Andy Ross

Ashley Twichell and Haley Anderson have qualified for the 2019 World Championships in the 10K.

Twichell finished first among U.S. swimmers in the 10K at the 2019 USA Open Water National Championships in Miami on Friday.

Anderson finished second among U.S. athletes and also qualified for worlds.

Brazil’s Ana Macela Cunha finished first overall in the race in 2:00:00.17.

Twichell followed in 2:00:00.67, followed by Anderson (2:00:01.10).

Both swimmers can automatically qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics if they finish in the top 10 at worlds, which begin in July in Gwangju, South Korea.

Hannah Moore looked to have finished third among U.S. swimmers but was disqualified after receiving two yellow cards from officials for interfering with other swimmers, the second occurring around a turn. She appealed the decision, but it was denied.

Erica Sullivan finished third among U.S. swimmers and fourth overall at 2:00:06.00, followed by Kathryn Campbell (2:00:13.55) and Becca Mann (2:00:14.65).

RESULTS

Twichell won gold and Anderson finished fifth at FINA Worlds in 2017, though that was a 5K, half the Olympic distance. Anderson, a two-time Olympian, won silver in the 2012 Olympics.

The course was chosen to mimic what qualifiers will face in the future because it’s important to choose swimmers who perform best under those conditions.

“I’m really excited they’re mimicking World Championships as closely as possible,” Anderson told USA Swimming. “I think it’s really important to start acclimating as soon as possible for the race we’re going to have at Worlds. The more chances you get to race in something like that, the better.”

If no male or no female swimmer from the U.S. finishes in the top 10 at Worlds, U.S. swimmers would have to go through another qualification process, which is another competition next year. However, the country can then advance just one swimmer of each gender.

For example, if just one male or just one female swimmer from the U.S. finishes in the top 10 at FINA Worlds, the U.S. wouldn’t be allowed to qualify another swimmer of that sex. If none of the U.S.’s male swimmers or female swimmers qualify, the U.S. could then only qualify at most one swimmer from that sex in the designated qualifying event next year.

“That would be amazing,” Twichell told USA Swimming. “To have a full roster of two men and two women on the open water team for the year leading up to (the Olympics), to be able to do training camps together, to be able to have a full squad in Tokyo, would be awesome and a big honor.

“Having the USA flag on your cap is such an honor, and when you’re competing internationally and you’re in the middle of a race, especially if you’re not feeling great or you’re at a tough point in the race and you see another American flag cap, it’s such a boost. It’s so huge.”

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