Britain’s open water swimmers showed determination and grit as they battled their way through the Men’s 10km event at the World Championships in Shanghai.
British Gas GBR Swimming Team athletes Dan Fogg and Tom Allen were in action at the beach city of Jin Shen and experienced a slightly cooler course than the day before when team mate Keri-anne Payne took gold in the women’s event.
Gold went to Spyros Goanniotis of Greece in 1.54:24.7, Thomas Lurz of Germany took silver in 1.54:27.2 and Sergey Bolshakov of Russia was third in 1.54:31.8. Fogg finished in a time of 1:54:46.9 with Allen on 1:55:37.4.
Fogg (British Gas ITC Loughborough) was Britain’s first finisher in 15th place, after leading for a large part of the race, while Allen (British Gas ITC Swansea), who spent the majority of the course within the top eight, came home in 26th.
“I thought that I’d saved enough over the course and would be strong enough at the end. After leading most of the way my legs just came off at the end and I didn’t have enough to fight back,” said Fogg.
Britain’s swimmers were aiming for a top 10 finish which would have seen them meet the qualification standard for next summer’s London 2012 Olympic Games.
“I just kept my head down throughout the race and tried to get as highly placed as possible and get that Olympic qualification,” explained Fogg. “I wanted to give myself the best chance of qualification and for three-and-a-half laps everything looked good but I just couldn’t respond at the finish. I’m obviously disappointed but I couldn’t have given any more. There’s one more chance to qualify for London and I’ll set my sights on that now and work as hard as I can towards it.”
A dejected Allen, who will compete at the European Juniors next week, found the pace too quick in the hot and humid conditions.
“It was a very hard and fast race,” said Allen. “In my opinion, the field went out too fast too soon but that’s just the way today’s race was swum. Coming into the home straight I simply didn’t have anything else left to give and the wheels came off.”
Fogg earned himself one of two British spots in the second qualification event in Portugal next June by virtue of finishing as the highest place Brit. The second spot will be determined at the British Gas Swimming Championships 2012 (Trials) in March.
The winner of the Men’s 1500m Freestyle, in which Allen will look to compete, will secure the second place on the team bound for Portugal.
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