Brits clinch top-10 finishes in thrilling Doha races

17 Feb 2020

Britain's marathon swimmers opened their 2020 campaigns in a strong field at the FINA Marathon Swim World Series event in Doha at the weekend - with Alice Dearing, Jack Burnell and Hector Pardoe all registering top-10 finishes. 

Dearing and teammate Danielle Huskisson were part of a large group to approach the finish line of the Women's 10km event in a bunch, with Dearing producing the best swim of her senior career to claim a 10th-place finish in 1:56.47.5 - less than seven seconds behind winner Leonie Beck of Germany.

Huskisson came in 9.7 seconds behind Dearing to finish 14th in 1:56.57.2, but such was the standard of the race the first three were seperated by a mere 0.2 seconds.

The Men's race provided even more drama. While France's Marc-Antoine Olivier swam away to claim victory, the next nine finishers were separated by less than five seconds, with Burnell and Pardoe both making it inside the top 10 with strong performances. 

Burnell - who spoke ahead of the weekend about looking to make a mark against a "stacked" field at the start of Olympic year - took ninth in a time of 1:50.03.1, with Pardoe half-a-second behind him in 10th.

Initially, there were three Brits in a row over the finish line, with Toby Robinson originally credited with 10th after a strong swim, but after replay footage was consulted, Robinson was judged not to have touched the boards above the finish line and therefore unfortunately did not register a result. 

The next leg of FINA's Marathon Swim World Series is hosted in the Seychelles in May, shortly before the Olympic qualification event in Fukuoka, Japan later that month.