JINSHAN CITY, China -- The United States won the new 5-kilometer open water team event at the world aquatic championships on Thursday.
Ashley Twichell, Andrew Gemmell and Sean Ryan finished in 57 minutes, 00.6 seconds -- 1.2 seconds ahead of second-place Australia, which was represented by Melissa Gorman, Ky Hurst and Rhys Mainstone.
"It was pretty incredible for a 5k race to come down to a single second for two teams that started 10 minutes apart," Gemmell said. "It just shows you how tight the race was."
Isabelle Haerle, Thomas Lurz and Jan Wolfgarten combined to claim bronze for Germany in 57:44.2.
The teams raced in time-trial style, departing at minute intervals with the time of the slowest swimmer deciding the order of finish. Australia departed 12th and passed four teams while posting its time.
"To win silver in a team event like this is a fantastic feeling and it's something new for open water swimming which is great," Mainstone said. "Now I know how the pool swimmers feel when they represent Australia in a relay."
The open water events continue Friday with the men's and women's 5-kilometer races and finish Saturday with 25-kilometer marathons.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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