Swimming: Jordan Wilimovsky qualifies for second straight Olympic Games

Jordan Wilimovsky swims the freestyle. Wilimovsky qualified for his second straight Olympic Games with his performance at the World Championships on Tuesday.

Daily file photo by Melody Song

Jordan Wilimovsky swims the freestyle. Wilimovsky qualified for his second straight Olympic Games with his performance at the World Championships on Tuesday.

Benjamin Rosenberg, Summer Managing Editor

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Swimming and Diving


Former Northwestern swimmer Jordan Wilimovsky was the first male athlete to qualify for the 2020 U.S. Olympic team, placing fifth in the 10-kilometer open water event at the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea on Tuesday.

Wilimovsky, who competed for the Wildcats from 2012 to 2017, was also an Olympian in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, when he finished fourth in the 1,500-meter freestyle and fifth in the 10-kilometer open water. In the 1500, he missed out on a medal by 4.17 seconds. He was even closer to the podium in the open-water, just 1.2 seconds out of third place.

As a Wildcat, Wilimovsky set program records in the 500-, 1,000- and 1,650-yard freestyle events. As a freshman in 2013, he became the first NU freshman in five years to qualify for the NCAA Championships. He was a two-time All-American and the 2015 Big Ten champion in the 1,650 free.

Wilimovsky took a redshirt year in 2015-16 to train for the Rio Games, and won a gold medal at the 2015 FINA Open Water World Championships, finishing 12 seconds ahead of second place. In Rio, he became the first American swimmer to ever compete in both pool and open water events at the Olympics.

Since open-water swimming made its Olympic debut in 2008, no American man has won a medal in the sport. Wilimovsky, who has twice been named the Fran Crippen Male Open Water Swimmer of the Year by USA Swimming, has a chance to become the first in Tokyo.

Email: benjaminrosenberg2021@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @bxrosenberg

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