Burnell and Huskisson win elite races at 2016 Great East Swim

English open water swimmers Jack Burnell and Danielle Huskisson were the stars of the elite races at the 2016 Great East Swim at Alton Water reservoir near Ipswich, Suffolk.

Competing over 5km, Loughborough University swimmer Burnell, who will make his Olympic debut for Team GB in the 10km marathon swim at Rio 2016 this summer, won the men’s 5km race in 56:15.88.

Burnell’s teammate and training partner Caleb Hughes pushed him all the way in the final sprint before the 23-year old edged ahead at the death, with Hughes finishing less than a second behind in 56:16.72.

Scotland’s Mark Deans was third in 56:33.39 while Caleb Hughes’ younger brother Nathan – who made an impact with the England Programmes squad at Best Fest 2016 earlier this month – was fourth home in 56:34.06.

Meanwhile, Huskisson bounced back from Olympic qualification disappointment to take a confident win the elite women’s race.

The Stirling University swimmer finished ninth in last week’s Olympic qualifier – high enough in the rankings to be selected for Rio – but behind British and English teammate Keri-anne Payne, with only one place per country available for the Games.

But Huskisson underlined her continuing progress in open water swimming, winning the women’s elite 5km race in 1:00.24.37 to close in on selection for the British team at this summer’s European Open Water Championships in Hoorn, the Netherlands.

Loughborough University’s Alice Dearing was second home in 1:00.45.43 while Northampton’s Rose Foden, who won junior gold with the England Programmes squad in Mallorca, ensured an English clean sweep of the medals in third on 1:01.06.13.

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