Ivan Puskovitch Secures Team USA Berth to Paris Olympics in Open Water; Second American Bid To Be Determined


Ivan Puskovitch Secures Team USA Berth to Paris Olympics in Open Water; Second American Bid To Be Determined

With a 14th-place finish in the 10K open-water event at the World Championships in Doha, Ivan Puskovitch qualified to represent the United States in the discipline at this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris. Puskovitch posted a time of 1:48:54.4 while racing in the Port of Doha, with Hungary’s Kristof Rasovszky capturing the gold medal.

Puskovitch is a senior at West Virginia University after having previously competed collegiately for the University of Southern California. A standout in the distance-freestyle events in the pool, Puskovitch has long been established as an elite performer in the open-water realm. His open-water achievements feature multiple medals at U.S. Nationals, along with membership on the U.S. National Junior Team.

“I’m speechless,” Puskovitch said. “It’s surreal. I made a change about a year ago to be with coach Mo Khadembashi at TSM. About a year-and-a-half ago, I told him that I wanted to be on the National Team in open water, and he looked at me and said, ‘If you’re going to do it right now, why don’t you go for the Olympic team?’ On that phone call, when he said that, I couldn’t really believe what he said given how things were going in my career at that time.

“It’s crazy what speaking things into existence and having people around you who believe in you can do for you. I’m so proud to have achieved this for myself and for Team USA to walk out of here as an Olympic qualifier. I do this for all the people who have sacrificed so much for me, have been with me every step of the way, and never lost faith in me to achieve my dreams.”

Finishing in 19th place at the World Champs was American Michael Brinegar, a Tokyo Olympian. The United States has earned a second quota spot for the 10K open-water event at the Olympic Games in Paris, but it has not yet been determined who will claim that berth.

On the women’s side, Katie Grimes and Mariah Denigan have qualified to compete for the United States in the 10K event at the Paris Games.

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