Jordan Wilimovsky Wins Men’s 10K Open Water Race as USA Qualifies 2 to 2016 Rio Olympics

Jordan Wilimovsky FINA World Championships
Photo Courtesy: Vladimir Astapko/FINA Kazan2015


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Jordan Wilimovsky of the United States became the first of 10 2016 Rio Olympians as the winner of the men’s 10K open water race at the 2015 FINA World Championships.

Wilimovsky turned in a sizzling time of 1:49:48.2 during the 10K race to become just the second American to ever win the 10K world title.  He joined Chip Peterson, who previously won his world title at the 2005 World Championship in Montreal, Canada.

The Netherlands’ Ferry Weertman snared silver in 1:50:00.3.  He is The Netherlands first open water medalist in the men’s 10K ever, and just the second to claim a medal in any event. Maarten van der Weijden took gold in the men’s 25k and bronze in the men’s 5k in 2008.

Greece’s Spyridon Gianniotis picked up bronze in 1:50:00.7. That’s his third career medal in the men’s 10K at a world championship as he previously won a pair of golds as well.  Only Thomas Lurz (8) and Vladimir Dyatchin (6) have more career world open water medals.  At 35, Gianniotis also became the oldest open water world medalist ever, breaking the previous record of 33 by Thomas Lurz when he took silver in the 10K in 2013.

Today’s swim proved to be of the utmost importance as it is the only time that a country could claim two spots into the 2016 Rio Olympic field.  To do so,  swimmer had to make the top 10 here in Kazan, and just two countries managed to do it with USA and Italy both pulling off the feat.

USA did so in style with a 1-4 finish as Sean Ryan claimed fourth in 1:50:03.3.

Wilimovsky and Ryan become the third and fourth U.S. athletes of any sport – and the first swimmers – to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Pentathlete Nathan Schrimsher and table tennis player Yue “Jennifer” Wu qualified at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games earlier this month.

Italy, meanwhile, earned a pair of Olympic berths as well.  Simone Ruffini took seventh in 1:50:09.1, while Federico Vanelli claimed the final spot with a 10th-place 1:50:23.1.

Other Olympians were Great Britain’s Jack Burnell (1:50:05.8), France’s Marc-Antoine Olivier (1:50:06.4), Canada’s Richard Weinberger (1:50:19.9) and Brazil’s Allan Do Carmo (1:50:23.1).


2015 FINA World Championships, Open Water Swimming: Men’s 10K – Results


Jordan Wilimovsky (USA, gold): “I am stoked with this win. I guess I surprised myself but I know that I have been putting in a lot of work with my coach. I was just trying to get into the top 10 and qualify for Rio, so I’m pretty excited. I knew this was going to be competitive race and with so many guys it was rough at the beginning. I always thought that I would be able to pull away at the end”.

“Was I surprised? No, I was just trying to find the finish line. I looked to my left and didn’t see anyone and thought, ‘that can’t be good’. Luckily no one was catching me and I got back on course. I was lucky enough to have energy left for the end of the race and I hoped that I would be ready for the last 1000 metres”.

“I am fortunate to be a part of a great USA team. There is a core group of open water swimmers and every year we get a little bit better. We are fortunate to be having more open water events and more swimmers are turning out for our races”.

“I haven’t been to Brazil but it looks pretty cool and I’m excited to go”.

“Sean Ryan (USA teammate) and I didn’t have a plan, instead we had our own strategies. When I came around the last buoy I turned around for a quick look and I saw Sean and knew that we were both in a good position. I’m thrilled that we both have made the Olympic team”.

Ferry Weertman (NED, silver): “The course was really big. Navigation was hard and everyone was swimming up against each other and that made it fun for all of us, I guess. At the end, Jordan was just going crazy, and I was trying to get close, but I wasn’t close enough. I am very happy with my second place”.

“In just two and one half week I will be heading to Rio with my coach for the test event. In 2012, I thought, ‘maybe I can race the 10km’ and I tried to qualify for the Olympics but I finished in 30th place”.

“Now I can also try to qualify for the pool as I only need to drop 0.7 in the 400 free. I am also the fifth swimmer on the relay so maybe I can make a personal best and I can qualify for our relay team. I would like to be able to swim pool and open water events and maybe, if I have a good day, I can get a medal in Rio”.

Spyridon Gianniotis (GRE, bronze): “My goal was to be in the top 10 and to finish in third place is wonderful. I’m the oldest guy in the race and we joked that I could be the father to some of the competitors. I’m proud that I am 35 years old and still competing with top athletes. I saw Ferry swimming near me and passing me, but I’m pleased with my medal”.

“This moment is about Greece. Everyone knows the situation that our country has been dealing with and for me it has been hard to keep my focus with so much on my mind. Today I swam for my country and I think that gave me a psychological boost. I was so proud to see my flag raised”.

“I have qualified for my fifth Olympic Games. I will stop swimming after Rio but it will still be my goal to be on the podium. The Olympics is the highest level of competition and I would like to go out on top. Tomorrow I start training for Rio and hopefully I will be in good condition. I hope to be in even better shape than I was at the last Olympics. It will be my first race in the sea. I have never raced in Rio but I have raced in Santos”.

“It was my goal to strive for 10th place but once you are in the race you see how good your tactics are working and then you can swim even better. I realised that I could finish in the top three”.

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8 years ago

…congrats! You all are amazing.

8 years ago

(RIO! RIO! RIO!) x 2 . . . . . . GO USA!