British marathon swimmers Keri-anne Payne and Danielle Huskisson will compete for Olympic selection this weekend when they take part in an all-or-nothing 10km race at Setubal in Portugal.
Payne (Warrender), 10km Olympic silver medallist in 2008, and Huskisson (University of Stirling) will compete in the FINA Marathon Swimming Olympic Games Qualification Tournament and will be vying for a top nine finish, as well as the first Briton home, in order to be considered for nomination to Team GB.
“It’s obviously a very important event as it is the last chance for athletes around the globe to qualify for this summer’s Olympic Games,” said British Swimming Marathon Lead Bernie Dietzig.
It will be a big field of over 50 athletes and every one of them will have the same game plan, which is to make the top nine finishers to put themselves in contention for Rio.
"It will be a difficult race for the athletes as they have to contend with cold temperatures and a strong tidal flow where the river mouth meets the ocean. Add these an extremely competitive field and you have one of the toughest events there is.”
The course on the River Sade will consist of six laps of just over 1.6km each while temperatures of between 16-19C are expected.
“It’s a demanding and difficult course where the athletes will be required to take the right lines and swim it technically well,” said Dietzig.
British Swimming already has Jack Burnell (National Centre, Loughborough) as a consideration for nomination to Team GB after he finished fifth in the 10km event at last year’s World Championships.