The U.S. won the silver medal in the 5-kilometer open water mixed team relay Thursday at the FINA World Championships with Malibu resident Jordan Wilimovsky taking the Americans from fifth to second on the anchor leg.
The U.S. was 2.1 seconds behind third-place Italy when Wilimovsky began his 1.25-kilometer leg of the relay at Lake Balaton, Hungary.
Wilimovsky swam his leg in 12 minutes, 5.5 seconds, passing swimmers from Great Britain, Russia and Italy to move the U.S. into second, behind France.
The U.S. was timed in 54:18.1 for the race. France won in 54:05.9. Italy was third 54:31.0.
Santa Monica resident Brendan Casey put the U.S. in first after the opening leg, competing his leg in 14:00.3.
“I knew there were a few guys that I would be racing in there, so I just tried to have a breakaway so the girls couldn’t draft as much at the end,” Casey said.
“The exchange was kind of shoddy — I’d never done it before — but we got Ashley (Twichell) out there.”
The U.S. dropped into fifth after Twichell swam her leg, facing many male competitors.
“They’re pretty strong, so it takes a little bit out of you, but I stayed with them as best as I could,” said Twichell, the gold medalist in the women’s 5-kilometer open water race Wednesday.
The U.S. remained in fifth after former USC standout Haley Anderson completed the third leg.
“It was really exciting having four of us out there,” said Anderson, the silver medalist in the women’s 10-kilometer open water race in the 2012 Olympics.
“Distance swimmers don’t really get a chance to do relays, so it’s pretty much a first for all of us. It makes it even more fun having three people out there with you.
—City News Service
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