Photo: Rick Pelletier
Photo: Rick Pelletier

Rio 2016: Horner qualifies for third Olympic Games in swimming

Stephanie Horner qualified for her third consecutive Olympics Games on Saturday, at the open water swimming qualifier in Setubal, Portugal.

After competing at two Olympic Games in the pool, Horner will take the competition outside after switching to open water swimming two years ago. The Canadian finished 15th in Saturday’s race, with a 10 kilometre time of one hour 57 minutes 30.60 seconds, in order to secure a spot at Rio 2016.

Related: 27 swimmers named to Team Canada at Olympic trials

“It feels awesome, I don’t think the reality of going to a third Games has hit me yet,” said Horner to Swimming Canada. “Having my parents here and all the messages of support I received from back really gave me a big boost.”

Stephanie Horner

Stephanie Horner competing at London 2012

Related: Six unforgettable Olympic Swimming moments

Horner made her Olympic debut at Beijing 2008, competing in the 200 metre butterfly, 200m and 400m freestyle, as well as the 4x200m freestyle relay. The Canadian kept her relay spot at London 2012 and showed her versatility, qualifying for the 400m medley.

“I wasn’t really that interested in switching to open water but so many people believed I could be good at it that I started to believe it myself,” she said. “It’s an event where experience counts so I decided to take up the challenge.”

Horner will be one of the most experienced swimmers on Canada’s team, alongside her two-time Olympic teammate Ryan Cochrane. Horner will join Canada’s 29 swimmers nominated to the Games this summer, including fellow open water swimmer Richard Weinberger, who won bronze at London 2012.