Jordan Wilimovsky Finishes 10th In Men’s Marathon Swimming

by Lisa Costantini

Jordan Wilimovsky competes in the men's 10-kilometer marathon swimming race during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 05, 2021 in Tokyo.


TOKYO — With the conclusion of the men’s marathon 10k race, swimming has officially wrapped up at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. 
Thursday morning started early for Team USA’s Jordan Wilimovsky, who lined up against 25 other competitors on the floating pontoon for a 6:30 a.m. start time. Looking to best his fifth-place finish from the Olympic Games Rio 2016 — the highest Olympic finish in the 10k by an American man — the 27-year-old failed to break out of the chase group for the seven laps around Odaiba Beach. He ultimately finished in 10th place with a time of 1:51:40.2.
Under the cloudless blue sky, it was Germany’s Florian Wellbrock who took the early lead. But throughout the 10km, the double world champion continued to lead, fall back and lead again. Also taking part in the aquatic version of LeapFrog was Hungary, Germany, France and Italy.
When the bell sounded with a lap to go, it was Wellbrock who started pushing out of the pack — touching first with a time of 1:48:33.7. Taking the silver was Hungary’s Kristof Rasovszky with Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri in third at 1:49:01.
But those were not the results Wilimovsky was wanting. “It was tough. I was putting myself in a position to do well at the start and kind of give everything I had. Unfortunately it just kind of blew up on the last two laps and I faded,” he said. “That’s all I had today.”
The water temperature also made it difficult for the swimmers, reaching digits higher than the women’s race the day prior. It was there where Team USA’s Haley Anderson and Ashley Twichell finished in sixth and seventh, respectively.
Of the conditions, Wilimovsky said, “It was hot. But we knew that was the case and prepared for that. I just went for it and got a little caught and faded at the end.”
The men’s open water was the only swimming event the U.S. failed to qualify a second swimmer.
In Rio, Wilimovsky became the first American swimmer to qualify and compete in both pool and open water events in an Olympic Games when he placed fourth in the men’s 1500m freestyle. He had hoped to do it again in Tokyo but was unable to put up fast enough times in the 800m and the 1500m at trials earlier this year.

Two of the podium finishers from today’s open water race did qualify in both. In Tokyo, Wellbrock won bronze in the 1500m freestyle; Paltrinieri took second in the 800m free.

Want to follow Team USA athletes during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020? Visit to view the medal table, results and competition schedule.

Lisa Costantini is a freelance writer based in Orlando. She has covered Olympic and Paralympic sports for various publications, and has contributed to since 2011.