The 2019 FINA Marathon Swim World Series kicks off in earnest this weekend in Doha, Qatar, with six British swimmers set to take to the water.
The first leg of the annual series takes place in the Qatari capital on Saturday 16th February, with a further three legs following over the next four months before the series culminates at the World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, in July.
Starting from the Doha Corniche, a promenade extending into Doha Bay, the six British swimmers will contest the 10km distance, the first British male and female finishers securing automatic selection for the World Championships.
Leading the way on the men’s side are Loughborough based duo Jack Burnell and Toby Robinson, the pair having finished seventh and ninth respectively at the 2018 European Championships. Whilst Robinson is still on the rise, Burnell has undoubted pedigree, having finish fifth and then fourth at the last two World Championships. Whilst selection for Gwangju 2019 is his initial target, he’ll be hoping to continue that upward curve and win his first global championship medal in July.
Notably, Burnell finished second overall in last year’s FINA Marathon Swim World Series, so will be looking to go one better in 2019.
Gordon Mason completes the male trio travelling to the Middle East, as he makes the step up to World Series competition having represented Great Britain at the European and World Junior Championships.
Former World Junior champion Alice Dearing heads the women’s team after a 12th place finish at last summer’s European Championships in Glasgow; she’ll look to continue her progress as a 10km swimmer in Doha. Stirling based Danielle Huskisson, the 2016 European champion over 5km, also looks to continue her progress in the longer event, having finished a promising 11th at the World Championships in Budapest two years ago.
Rounding out the women’s team is 19 year old Polly Holden, who broke onto the international scene last year thanks to a great performance at the Great North Swim, where she topped the elite race. That swim earned the youngster selection for both the European and World Junior Championships, as well as her first senior international appearance at Glasgow 2018.
Watch the Women's race LIVE HERE @ 6am GMT
Watch the Men's race LIVE HERE @ 10am GMT
Athletes representing GB: