A team of eight marathon swimmers has been selected for the fifth and final leg of the World Aquatics Open Water Swimming World Cup 2023, with the competition taking place in Funchal, Portugal on 2nd and 3rd December.
The competition comes at the end of a productive year for the British distance swimming programme, which included both Hector Pardoe and Amber Keegan finishing inside the top 20 at the World Aquatics Championships over the summer.
The pair are both set to compete in the competition next month, alongside Leah Crisp, who was their teammate at the World Championships in Fukuoka.
Alice Dearing and Ella Dyson complete the list of athletes competing in the women’s events across the two-day competition, with Dearing continuing to build back into international competition as she looks to make a second consecutive appearance at the Olympic Games next summer.
Swansea athletes Nathan Hughes and Daniel Jervis line up in the men’s events, with the latter athlete making the switch from the pool to the open water for this event following his performances in the 800m and 1500m Freestyle at those World Championships.
Toby Robinson rounds off the full list of athletes to compete, as he looks to return to the fray at the 2024 World Championships in Qatar, with his most recent appearance being at 2022’s edition of the competition in Budapest.
The competition serves as the main selection event for Qatar, with Pardoe and Keegan already meeting the criteria following their performances in Japan.
British Swimming’s Performance Pathway Lead for Swimming, Nathan Hilton, gave his thoughts on the opportunity presented to the team as they gear up to compete on the Portugese island.
“Obviously there has been some recent logistical challenges surrounding the relocation of this event, fortunately they were resolved quickly to enable the athletes to focus on their preparation,” he said.
“The event is our final selection race for the 2024 Doha World Championships and with eight British athletes attending the event, our team will be competitive. With many other nations using the event as their selection race/final prep race for Doha, it will be a very strong race but I am confident that the athletes will rise to the challenge and continue the positive upward trend we have seen from our marathon swimmers over the last 12 months.”
The British Swimming team for leg five of the World Aquatics Open Water Swimming World Cup 2023 in Funchal, Portugal (2nd & 3rd December):
Leah Crisp, University of Bath
Alice Dearing, Loughborough University
Ella Dyson, Wycombe District
Nathan Hughes, Swim Wales High Performance Centre
Daniel Jervis, Swim Wales High Performance Centre
Amber Keegan, City of Sheffield
Hector Pardoe, Loughborough University
Tobias Robinson, Loughborough University
Live streaming will be available on the World Aquatics YouTube Channel.