Six athletes are gearing up for marathon swimming action in Sardinia for the second round of the World Aquatics Open Water Swimming World Cup 2023, which takes place this weekend (Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st May).
The squad features a mixture of swimmers with Olympic and World Championship experience and those who are taking in some of their first international experiences at the event.
Tokyo 2020 representative Hector Pardoe is one of three inclusions on the men's side, with Hector looking to make inroads in the Men’s 10km event on the Saturday, which serves as British Swimming’s qualifying meet for this summer’s World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.
Joining Pardoe in the event will be his long-term open water international teammate Toby Robinson, who is aiming for a fourth consecutive World Championships appearance this summer, and 22-year-old Nathan Hughes – the Swansea University athlete who will be targeting a Worlds team for the first time following an impressive breakthrough season.
The women’s 10km race also takes place on the Saturday, with Leah Crisp, Ella Dyson and Amber Keegan all looking to put in strong swims and ultimately make their first World Championships team this summer. The trio have all made the transition from pool to bay for the event, with the Golfo Aranci set to host what will be a high-calibre competition, featuring a number of international medallists.
Giving his thoughts on the competition, Performance Pathway Lead Nathan Hilton sees the event as an opportunity for further development.
"The guys are all relaxed and confident, and we're looking forward to the race. They're excited - it's going to be a strong field out here. We're here with the intention of qualifying for Worlds, and it's going to give us the best opportunity to do that in a strong field.
"Overall, the team are just looking forward to getting started on Saturday."
The event comes in the year preceding the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, which is the main target for a programme which is rebuilding around the group of athletes as next summer draws closer. To check out the results or watch the action live from Sardinia, visit the World Aquatics website.
The open water selection policy for the 2023 World Open Water Championships can be found here.
Athletes selected for the World Aquatics Open Water World Cup in Saridnia, Italy (20th-21st May)