Great Britain has selected four swimmers to represent the county in open water at this summer’s World Championships.
Keri-Anne Payne is the headliner, winning the 2009 and 2011 World Championships in the women’s 10km swim – the premier open water distance. Since the 2012 Olympic Games and a switch to the Warrender Baths club, however, success has been harder to find for the 27-year old South African native. She finished a disappointing 14th at the 2013 World Championships and then didn’t race at last year’s European Championships.
Full 10km roster:
- Jack Burnell – National Centre, Loughborough
- Dan Fogg – National Centre, Loughborough
- Danielle Huskisson – University of Stirling
- Keri-anne Payne – Warrender
But 2015 has been a bounce-back year for Payne. She led the way for Britain with a 2nd-place finish at the Billiton Aquatic Super Series in Perth and then sealed her spot on this World Championships roster with a 19th-place finish at the Cozumel World Cup stop, also the fastest Brit in the water that day.
British Swimming had a loose set of selection criteria, saying that the two male and two female spots in the 10k would be filled on coaches decision based on the results of the Perth race and Cozumel, considered together.
While Payne’s selection was an obvious one, her female counterpart’s Danielle Huskisson’s was not as clear-cut. Huskisson was faster than Alice Dearing at the Billiton 10k, but Dearing was 73 seconds better in Cozumel. Huskisson, however, got the nod as Britain’s representative at the European Championships last season.
The men’s selectees will be Jack Burnell, who sealed his spot with a thunderous event victory against a very tough field in Cozumel; a field that included the defending European champion Ferry Weertman. He’s joined by the man who has become somewhat the face of British open water swimming Daniel Fogg, who was 3rd at the Billiton race and 8th in Cozumel, just 8 seconds behind Burnell.
Further selections to fill the 5km races in Kazan will be made after the results of the Great North Swim at Lake Windermere in England on June 13th.
Open Water Lead Bernie Dietzig commented: “With the selection process for the marathon swimmers complete I am very happy with the progress this season.
“We purposely chose the toughest competitions for selection and the athletes we have selected have delivered under pressure and at the highest level of racing.
“Along that pathway our women and men have raced hard and produced some great results, with some individuals establishing themselves firmly in the top 10.”
Dietzig also pointed out the value of these 10km swims as the first opportunity for swimmers from around the world to seal their country’s spot at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
“The World Championship 10km will be the first stage selection for the 2016 Olympic Games with the top 10 finishers qualifying for Rio,” said Dietzig.
“The race will be fiercely competitive but, considering this season’s performances, preparation and results, I believe that our swimmers are well prepared and ready to deal with any challenge thrown at them.”