Jordan Wilimovsky of Malibu won the men’s 10-kilometer open water race at the Pan Pacific Championships Tuesday in Tateyama, Japan, his second victory at the quadrennial meet involving swimmers from the U.S., Canada, Australia and Japan.
Wilimovsky swam toward the back of the pack for the first 7 kilometers before surging to the lead just before heading out on the final 2-kilometer loop. He built on his advantage over the final lap, winning in one hour, 58 minutes, 50.5 seconds. Eric Hedlin of Canada was second in 1:58:56.7 and Nicholas Sloman of Australia third in 1:59:20.8.
“It’s a long race, so you’ve got to conserve energy,” said Wilimovsky, who won the 1,500 meter freestyle Thursday and was second in the 800 freestyle Sunday. “It was a long week of racing in the pool and luckily I had enough at the end.”
David Heron of Mission Viejo was sixth in 1:59:25.2.
Wilimovsky won the men’s 10-kilometer open water race at the 2015 FINA World Championship and was fifth in the event in the 2016 Olympics.
Wilimovsky graduated from Malibu High School in 2012. He completed his college swimming career at Northwestern in 2017.
Wilimovsky said he began swimming when he was 9 years old to qualify for the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Lifeguard Division’s Junior Lifeguard Program, which required participants to swim 100 yards in one minute, 50 seconds.
Wilimovsky failed to meet that standard in his first attempt, then joined the swim team at the Palisades-Malibu YMCA in 2004 and qualified for the Junior Lifeguard Program.
Wilimovsky said he gravitated to distance races “because I was never really any good at any other thing.”
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