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Burnell finishes top Brit in Portugal

20th May 2013

British Open Water swimmers took part in the Portuguese Open Water Nationals on Saturday, as they looked to book their places on the British teams for a number of events this summer.

Jack Burnell (British Gas Loughborough ITC) and Danielle Huskisson (University of Stirling) were the top British finishers at the event in Montemor-o-Velho, Portugal.

Battling 30mph winds, Burnell overcame the cold conditions to finish in fourth place overall, the top-ranked British male.

Craig Hamilton (Warrender) was the next British male and puts himself in contention for World University Games with his sixth place finish. He beat fellow Brits, Tom Sunter (City of Sheffield) in seventh and Caleb Hughes of Hatfield who finished in eighth place overall.

The swimmers did a fantastic job this weekend, swimming in really very difficult conditions.

Huskisson, who trains at the University of Stirling was 11th ahead of teammate Lucy Campbell (Windsor) in 12th and Beckenham’s Lauren Walton in 15th.

Other British swimmers were Oliver Bitowt (Lincoln Vulcans) in 13th place, Alice Dearing (Royal Wolverhampton School) in 17th and Philippa Shuttleworth (Hatfield) in 21st.

Graham Bassi, Head Coach for the team said: “The swimmers did a fantastic job this weekend, swimming in really very difficult conditions, they were really professional and it was an excellent team effort.

“Jack Burnell used his experience to stick with the pack and secure the top British spot at the finish but Caleb showed fantastic potential leading until the 7.5km mark.

“We were really impressed with Danielle Huskisson finishing 11th in her first open water international.

“The conditions were really difficult for the swimmers, the air temperature was 13 degrees, the water temperature between 16.9 and 17.5 degrees and the final 500m were through 1-2ft waves into a head wind so we were immensely proud of everyone.”

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