Jordan Wilimovsky came to Chiba Prefecture in Japan the heavy pre-race favorite in the 10 km marathon swim – and his talents proved to be too much for the rest of the field.
But at least Canada’s Eric Hedlin made it interesting.
It was the first international medal in five years for Hedlin, the 25-year-old 2013 FINA World Swimming Championship 5 km silver medalist. “I feel really happy,” said Hedlin who finished 6.2 seconds behind Wilimovsky. “I wanted to come first, but Jordan is a really strong swimmer, so I thought realistically my best shot was second, hoping for Top 5. I’m very happy with that.”
With the pace not particularly quick, the field of 14 men played directly into the hands of Wilimovsky at Tateyama’s Hojo Beach on Tokyo Bay.
Hedlin led for the second, third and most of the fourth lap, but towards the end of the fourth lap Wilimovsky pulled ahead as he has planned.
His pace quickly dropped the field, leaving Hedlin to be the sole challenger.
“Jordan’s very strong and I knew that he was going to lift at the end,” Hedlin said. “It’s definitely encouraging. To be on track for Top 10 at worlds is my goal, and to hopefully qualify for the Olympics. Definitely I needed to finish within the top few here to be confident going into next year because there’s a whole bunch of strong swimmers over in Europe. I feel like I’m on track and I know what I need to do.”
Canada’s Distance/Open Water Coach Mark Perry said, “We came to try to win medals and Eric really delivered there with a silver medal. It started with the great work his coach Ron Jacks has done with him, and we’ve had a great camp for three weeks, first in Wakayama then in Tokyo. It’s been pretty hard on the guys waiting this long to do their one race but it all came together really well.”
Hedlin’s teammate Hau-Li Fan finished seventh in the chase pack. “I felt like I was in the race for the most part. I was trying to work my way up to Top 5 for the third and fourth lap and I think I kind of got that but I dropped off near the end on the fifth lap. I need to be able to stick with those top guys from when they make that move. I’m pretty good at being able to stay in that pack but being able to speed up is something I need to work on. It was lots of fun, I learned a lot, saw what open water training looks like and it was a good experience with the team.”
10 km Results:
1. Jordan Wilimovsky (USA) 1:58:50.5
2. Eric Hedlin (Canada) 1:58:56.7
3. Nicholas Sloman (Australia) 1:59:20.8
4. Salgado Enderica (Ecuador) 1:59:22.7
5. Allan do Carmo (Brazil) 1:59:23.8
6. David Heron (USA) 1:59:25.2
7. Hau-Li Fan (Canada) 1:59:26.5
8. Victor Colonese (Brazil) 1:59:27.2
* Taylor Abbott (USA) 1:59:42.6
9. Taiki Nonaka (Japan) 2:00:16.9
10. Takeshi Toyoda (Japan) 2:01:37.9
11. James Brinegar (USA) 2:02:11.2
12. Matthew Scott (New Zealand) 2:02:23.1
13. Zane Grothe (USA) 2:03:52.4
Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association