Haley Anderson wins silver in grueling open water swim photo finish

Maggie Hendricks

American swimmer Haley Anderson is the proud owner of a silver medal after the 10km open water swim ended in a photo finish. Eva Risztov from Hungary won the gold, with Italy's Martina Grimaldi earning the bronze.

The open water swim is a grueling, 10km race through London's Hyde Park. Risztov led for much of the race, which lasted just under two hours for the frontrunners. In the final kilometer, Anderson began to move up.

[ Photos: Underwater Olympic photography ]

With the finish line, a low-lying arc hanging over the water, in sight, Anderson and Risztov sprinted to the finish. Risztov hit the arc with her hand just before Anderson. Photos confirmed Risztov got to the finish line first, besting Anderson by 0.4 seconds.

Open water swimming was added to the swimming docket in 2008, and Anderson is the first American to medal in it. According to USA Swimming, neither of the top-two finishers even made their national teams until mid-June. Anderson is a junior at the University of Southern California and also competed in the U.S. Olympic trials in the 800m freestyle, but finished third and missed the chance to represent the U.S. in the open water and the pool.

Perhaps not making the 800m free was a blessing in disguise, as Anderson was freed up to concentrate on a race that required so much stamina.

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