UPDATE: The story was originally published with Wilimovsky in sixth. Post-race, however, Great Britain’s Jack Burnell was disqualified, moving Wilimovsky up to fifth.
Jordan Wilimovsky finished fifth in the 10k open water marathon swim on Tuesday morning, missing out on the podium in a photo finish. He swam a 1:53:03.2, 3.4 seconds out of gold and 1.2 seconds away from bronze. Ferry Weertman of the Netherlands won gold.
It was an interesting and extremely exciting race, as Australia’s Jarrod Poort—not among the pre-race favorites—took out a very fast pace, breaking away from the pack and swimming alone for the first 7.5 kilometers of the race. But the gap between Poort and the large pack of chasers began to narrow significantly, and Poort ended up 40 seconds or so back.
But as it came down to the end, a large clump all came together with Wilimovsky very much near the front. The 2015 world champion with a time of 1:49:48.2, Wilimovsky took the lead briefly down the stretch but could not hang on.
Wilimovsky raced a savvy race, staying near the back of the pack through the first two laps (of four). Through the first lap, he was 21st, and through the second he was 18th. But after three laps, our 2015 Student Athlete of the Year had moved to near the front of the chase group, moving into fourth.
Wilimovsky leaves Rio with a fourth place finish in the 1500m and a fifth place finish in the 10k, neither more than a few seconds from the medal podium.