British open water swimmers Jack Burnell and Alice Dearing have been named as the first members of Great Britain’s aquatics team heading to the World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju this July.
A six swimmer GB squad headed to Doha for the opening leg of the 2019 FINA Marathon Swim World Series knowing that the first male and female across the line would guarantee themselves a spot on the team for 2019’s showcase meet.
Despite a leg injury at the back end of 2018, it was Jack Burnell who showed good form throughout, eventually finishing in 12th position. To the fore on the second and third laps and never out of the top five, Burnell showed his fitness is in a good place despite limited training, although his kick in the closing stages was hampered by that aforementioned injury; in the last 2.5km he slipped back to 12th, but still finished just 12 seconds behind the winner.
Tobias Robinson also had a strong swim to finish 19th, just eight seconds back on Burnell, with Gordon Mason also stepping up to top level senior competition with an impressive 32nd place finish, just 45 seconds behind the winner, having been in the lead group for a large portion of the race.
With the women’s race off first, it was Alice Dearing who won the battle of the Brits in choppy conditions in front of the Doha skyline. The 2016 World Junior champion, who was also first Brit home at last summer’s European Championships in Glasgow, crossed the line in 34th place, one place and 36 seconds ahead of Danielle Huskisson.
There was also a promising swim for Polly Holden, who in her first senior 10km and first World Series event, finished in 40th place.
Final selections for the World Championships will take place after the Great North Swim at the start of June.