British marathon swimmer Jack Burnell struck gold on his first outing of the year when he won the Abu Dhabi leg of the FINA/HOSA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup from a field of over 80 men.
In what promised to be one of the most challenging and competitive events on the calendar, Burnell took the top step of the podium at Emirates Palace Bay.
Burnell won in a sprint finish ahead of Ferry Weertman of the Netherlands and David Aubry of France.
“At the end of the day, it’s about ticking that box and getting the first one under my belt since Rio,” said Burnell. “I am out there to win every single race I go into, I am not out there to come second, third or fourth.
“So for me it’s about turning up to races in the best possible shape I can and showing people what I can do.”
The first event of the year for the British squad was perfectly timed as part of their preparations towards the World Championships in July.
Burnell went into the event off the back of a tough training camp as part of an identified group of athletes who trained at altitude in Mexico.
The Abu Dhabi leg of the FINA/HOSA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup takes place on Saturday 11 March.
The British squad comprised:
Jack Burnell - National Centre Loughborough
Alice Dearing - National Centre Loughborough
Caleb Hughes - National Centre Loughborough
Danielle Huskisson – University of Stirling
Toby Robinson - National Centre Loughborough