MALIBU—2015 World Champion and 2016 U.S. Olympian swimmer Jordan Wilimovsky, a Malibu native, won the silver medal in the men’s 10-kilometer open water swimming race on Tuesday, July 18 at the FINA (Fédération internationale de natation or the International Swimming Federation) World Championships at Lake Batalon, Hungary.
Following the first of four laps, Wilimovsky was in 49th place, about 31 seconds behind the lead. He made steady progress as the swim continued, moving into sixth place in the final 2.5-kilometer lap, seven seconds behind Ferry Weertman of the Netherlands. Wilimovsky, Weertman, and France’s Marc-Antoine Olivier, who won bronze at the 2016 Olympics, swam nearly side-by-side in the final 200 meters of the race.
Wilimovsky registered a time of 1 hour, 51 minutes, and 58.6 seconds for the silver medal, just one-tenth of a second behind Weertman, who finished at 1 hour, 51 minutes, and 58.5 seconds. Olivier, who secured bronze, finished at 1 hour, 51 minutes, and 59.2 seconds. Brendan Casey of Santa Monica, the other American swimmer in the race, finished in ninth place at 1 hour, 52 minutes, and 18.6 seconds.
Wilimovsky and Casey qualified for the Budapest championships by finishing first and second in the U.S. Open Water National Championships at Castaic Lake in May.
In 2015, Wilimovsky won the gold medal at the 10-kilometer open water event at the World Championships in Kazan, 12 seconds ahead of Weertman, who won the silver. His victory qualified him for the 2016 Olympics Games. After finishing second in the 1,500-meter event in the Olympic Trials, he became the first American swimmer to qualify for both the open water and pool events in the Olympics. He went on to place fifth during the Olympic Games in Rio. He is the only American man with multiple medals in the FINA World Championships 10-kilometer event.
At the age of nine, Wilimovsky failed a 100-yard swim test required to qualify for a junior lifeguard program. He later joined the swim team at the Palisades-Malibu YMCA and qualified for the junior lifeguard program there. After graduating from Malibu High School in 2012, Wilimovsky attended Northwestern University, where he competed in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championships, Big Ten Championships, and the ATT Winter Nationals. He also competed in the 2013 and 2014 U.S. Open Water Championships and the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships. Since 2010, he has trained under coach Dave Kelsheimer of Team Santa Monica, who was named a U.S. open water swimming coach for the 2016 Olympics.