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Jordan Wilimovsky qualifies for 2016 Summer Olympics

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The Northwestern swimming standout will represent his nation in Rio.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Northwestern swimmer Jordan Wilimovsky will represent the USA in the 2016 Olympics after winning the 10K open water swim Monday morning at the World Championships in Kazan, Russia.

Wilimovsky, a rising senior (although he's going to redshirt, as he told Inside NU), and Sean Ryan, who finished fourth in the race, became the first members of the 2016 team.

Needing a top-10 finish to clinch his spot on the team, Wilimovsky nabbed his spot emphatically, taking the gold medal in 1:49:48.2, about 12 seconds better than his nearest competitor and about 5 minutes better than his national-championship-winning performance in April. He is the first American man to win this event since 2005:

It was a fantastic swim from Wilimovsky, who finished 16th at the Pan Pacific Games in the same event last year. He talked about his performance here:

Had Wilimovsky not finished top-10, he would have had couple more opportunities to earn his spot at another race and then again at U.S. Olympic Qualifiers, but now he can fully focus on working toward winning gold in Rio de Janeiro. Just making the team has always been his biggest dream, as he told Inside NU back in May.

"Getting the chance to swim in the Olympics is what keeps me motivated. It's such an awesome opportunity." - Jordan Wilimovsky

No U.S. man has ever won an Olympic medal at the event, which debuted in the 2008 Beijing Games. Wilimovsky will look to change that.