SHANGHAI, China - Ashley Twichell captured gold in the first international competition of her career on Wednesday, helping Team USA win the 5K Open Water Team Pursuit at the 2011 FINA World Championships.
Twichell, a 2011 Duke graduate and a native of Fayetteville, N.Y., teamed with Andrew Gemmell of Georgia and Michigan's Sean Ryan to record a time of 57:00.6. Runner-up Australia finished just 1.2 seconds behind the United States at 57:01.8, while Germany took the bronze with a mark of 54:44.2.
The team 5K open water event was new to the FINA World Championships this year, with each of the 17 teams featuring male and female swimmers. Twichell qualified to represent the United States in Shanghai with her third-place showing at the 2011 10K Open Water National Championship in June.
Twichell returns to action at the World Championships on Thursday, when she competes as an individual in the women's 5K open water event.
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