Twichell gives US its 1st gold of world championships

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) The United States claimed its first gold medal of the world championships with another victory in the women's 5-kilometer open water race.

Ashley Twichell crossed the line Wednesday 3.5 seconds ahead of Aurelie Muller of France, giving the Americans their third straight world title in the shortest of the open water races.

The bronze went to Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil.

Twichell bounced back after finishing 10th in the 10k on Lake Balaton, about 130 kilometers (80 miles) southwest of Budapest.

The 28-year-old from Westchester County, New York conserved her energy early in the race and sprinted past Muller with about 700 meters to go

''I felt like I had something left,'' said Twichell, who became the first American woman to capture three open water medals in her worlds career.

''I really didn't know how far behind me anyone was, so I didn't want to look back and waste any time. I just tried to put my head down as much as I could and go as hard as I could those last 240 meters.''

The U.S. has captured 10 medals overall in the women's 5k, more than any other open water event at the second-biggest meet after the Olympics. Twichell was the bronze medalist in 2011 and also took gold in the team event that year.

Defending 5k champion Haley Anderson led early in the race but faded to fifth.

''I'm so excited for Ashley,'' Anderson said. ''It's nice to keep it within the U.S.''

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