NEWS
06/11/2016 12:40 EDT | Updated 06/12/2017 01:12 EDT

Stephanie Horner qualifies for Rio Summer Games in women's 10 km race

SETUBAL, Portugal — Stephanie Horner is headed to Rio de Janeiro.

The Beaconsfield, Que., native finished 15th in the women's 10 kilometre race on Saturday at the FINA marathon swimming Olympic Games qualification tournament to reserve her ticket for Rio 2016.

The 27-year-old will be competing in her third Olympics for Canada after pool performances in 2008 and 2012. Horner switched from the pool to open water less than two years ago.

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

Xin Xin of China won the event in one hour and 55 minutes and 12.10 seconds. Keri-Anne Payne of Britain was second while Ecuador's Samantha Arevalo of Ecuador came third in a photo finish 1:55:12.90.

Horner clocked 1:57:26.40 to gain the Olympic spot as the top finisher from the Americas outside the top-10 (one per country).

"The laps were shorter for this race which kept the swimmers in bunches at the turns," said Horner. "There was less time to spread yourself and it made for a messy race. The first pack broke up on the last lap and I was able to leave the second one behind."

Quebec City's Jade Dusablon was 17th in 1:57:30.60.