LONDON - Just 0.4 seconds.
That was the difference between a gold and silver medal. Haley Anderson never finished a race that close until Thursday’s 10-kilometer marathon swim at Hyde Park where she earned silver.
Anderson made a late surge to take a run at Hungary’s Eva Risztov, who crossed the line in 1:57:38.2, while Anderson clocked in at 1:57:38.6. Italy’s Martina Grimaldi took bronze with a time of 1:57:41.8. Anderson's medal is the first by the United States in the event, which debuted at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, where the U.S. finished in 22nd place.
“I couldn’t stop smiling from the second I touched the pad to when I was on the podium,” the first-time Olympian said. “I was ecstatic. I saw my sister in the stands.”
Just eight days ago, Alyssa Anderson, Haley’s older sister, competed for Team USA and earned gold in the women’s 4x200-meter freestyle relay with teammates Missy Franklin, Lauren Perdue, Allison Schmitt, Dana Vollmer and Shannon Vreeland. Due to training in Canada and not arriving in London until Aug. 3, Haley wasn’t able to catch her sister swim.
“Alyssa told me that she is really proud of me,” Haley said about what was said between the sisters after the swimming marathon.
Haley’s lowest position of the day was fourth at the end of the first lap, but from there, she moved into the No. 1 spot at the two lap mark. For the next three laps, the California native remained in third until finishing second. Swimming nearly two hours overall, Haley’s fastest lap turned out to be her last at 19:03.0.
Going into the race, Haley, who won the 1500-meter free and finished second in the 800-meter free at the 2011 World University Games, said she had high expectations.
“It’s really exciting. I’m more than happy with the results and being able to represent my country and medal,” Haley said.
With all competitions finished for the Anderson sisters, they are planning to tour London.
“We’ll be obnoxious tourists together,” Haley said.