Ashley Twichell

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Haley Anderson, Ashley Twichell are first to qualify for 2020 U.S. Olympic team

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Swimmers Haley Anderson and Ashley Twichell became the first of who will be more than 500 athletes to qualify for the 2020 U.S. Olympic team.

Anderson, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist, qualified for her third Olympics by earning another silver in the world championships open-water 10km in South Korea on Sunday morning.

Twichell was sixth to make her first Olympic team in her fourth try at age 30.

Top-10 finishers in the event, which debuted at the Olympics in 2008, qualified directly for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Anderson, a 27-year-old from California, is the lone American to earn an Olympic open-water medal. She also owns world titles in the open-water 5km, which is not an Olympic distance.

Twichell, who tried to make Olympic teams in 2008, 2012 and 2016, is in line to become the oldest U.S. Olympic rookie swimmer since James Greene in 1908, according to the OlyMADMen. And the third-oldest U.S. Olympic female swimmer after Dara Torres (33, 41) and Jenny Thompson (31), who each earned 12 medals.

Twichell in 2017 became the oldest American to win an open-water world title.

The men’s open-water 10km at worlds is Tuesday, where Rio Olympian Jordan Wilimovsky and David Heron can join Anderson and Twichell on the Olympic team with top-10 finishes.

The U.S. Olympic swim team in pool events will be determined at trials in Omaha in June.

MORE: World Diving Championships TV Schedule

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Open-water swimmers move one step from making Olympic team

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Rio Olympians Haley Anderson and Jordan Wilimovsky are among four U.S. open-water swimmers who on Friday qualified for the world championships, moving one step from making the Tokyo Games.

Anderson, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist, and Wilimovsky, who had fourth- and fifth-place finishes in 2016, will be joined by potential first-time Olympians Ashley Twichell and David Heron.

Twichell and Anderson finished second and third behind Brazilian Ana Marcela Cunha on Friday. Wilimovsky and Heron were second and fourth as the top Americans in the men’s event won by Italian Olympic 1500m freestyle champion Gregorio Paltrinieri.

The top 10 overall in the men’s and women’s races at worlds in Gwangju, South Korea, in July qualify for the Olympics.

Anderson, 27, and Wilimovsky, 25, both qualified for the Rio Games at the 2015 World Championships, with Wilimovsky earning that world title. Wilimovsky followed that with a silver in 2017, with Anderson taking sixth at those most recent worlds.

The open-water 10km, which debuted at the Olympics in 2008, is the only swim event on the most recent Olympic program that the U.S. has never won.

MORE: U.S. swimmers qualified for world championships

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Katie Ledecky is untouchable in 1500m freestyle in Knoxville

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Katie Ledecky was in the pool in the first race of the night in Knoxville at the 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series. Ledecky never looked back in the women’s 1500m freestyle, winning easily with a time of 15 minutes 49.59 seconds. It was the kind of opening act no one wants to follow.

With 1000m completed, the five-time Olympic gold medalist had built a comfortable 25m lead over the eventual second place swimmer, Ashley Twichell, who finished her race with a time of 16:13.03. Erica Sullivan was third posting a time of 16:29.23.

Ledecky is the reigning world champion and world record holder in the event. The seven fastest times in the event after the world record, yeah, those are times also held by Ledecky.

Ledecky picked up four wins in all in Knoxville. On Thursday she got to the wall ahead of Simone Manuel to win the 200m freestyle in the first event of the evening session. Later that night, she faced her biggest challenge of the meet in the 400m IM when Hali Flickinger hung with her all the way to the finish. Ledecky was able to pick up the win, edging Flinkinger by just .41 hundredths of a second. On Friday evening Ledecky posted win #3 in the 400m freestyle. Flickinger was again her closest challenger, finishing roughly 7 seconds behind Ledecky.

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