FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series 2021 Grand Finale - Days 1 and 2
Four British swimmers will be competing in open water races in Yas Bay, Abu Dhabi over 15-16 December 2021, including swimmers based / trained in Somerset. The Marathon Swim World Series 2021 Grand Finale is being held alongside the 15th FINA World Short Course Championships 2021.
Holly Hibbott (Bath NC), Hector Pardoe, Alice Dearing and Tobias Patrick Robinson competed in the Mixed 4x1500m Relay on 15 De 2021.
Hector Pardoe and Tobias Robinson compete in the Men's 10km event on 16 Dec (4am race start).
Alice Dearing and Bath National Centre's Holly Hibbott compete in the Women's 10km event on 16 Dec (7am race start).
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Ten relay teams entered Yas Bay with eight led off by women, other than Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Ukraine 's Igor Chervynskiy led leg 1 with 17:16.7. Holly Hibbott led the GB team off well over the opening 1500m, before handing over to Hector Pardoe within 11 seconds of the lead. Pardoe was the first swimmer to complete the second lap at 33:57. Alice Dearing dived in next and kept the Brits in contention during the third leg in which Domenico Acerenza (ITA) took over the lead, trailed closely by David Betlehem (HUN). The pair broke away from the other eight teams. Gregorio Paltrinieri split 15:49.1 and held off the challenge of Kristof Rasovszky (HUN). Dearing's Loughborough University training partner Tobias Robinson anchored the GB effort, overtaking the team from China late on to push Britain into fifth.
1. Italy - 1:06.49.1 ($20,000)
2. Hungary - 1:06.51.7 (+ 2.6) $16,000)
3. Germany - 1:07.29.0 (+ 39.9) ($12,000)
5 GBR - 1:08:38.90 (+ 01:49.8) - [Holly Hibbott (22) - 17:32.30, Hector Thomas Cheal Pardoe (20) - 33:57.00, Alice Dearing (24) - 52:09.50, Tobias Patrick Robinson (25) 1:08:38.90]
Hector Pardoe notched a ninth-placed finish in the individual Men's 10km event on his first return to competition since the Olympic Games, as well as contributing strongly to Day 1’s fifth place finish in the inaugural Mixed 6km race. The Montpellier-based athlete - who won the Olympic qualifying race in Portugal earlier this year - was just off the hotly-contested sprint finish that saw Germany's Florian Wellbrock claim victory in 1:48:09.40. Domenico Acerenza (ITA, 1:48:12.00) was 2.60s behind for silver with Kristof Rasovszky (HUN, 1:48:23.60) 14.20s off the lead in third. Pardoe ultimately touched ninth in 1:48:36.80, 27.40s off the lead, as he builds towards a busy 2022, when he will target a maiden World Championship appearance in Fukuoka.
Just behind him, Tobias Robinson, now training under Andi Manley at Loughborough, finished 12th in 1:48:39.40, 2.5 seconds off his compatriot and 30s behind the leader.
Reflecting on the meet overall, Pardoe was encouraged by many aspects - including the hope that the mixed team event will be one he can keep contributing to in the future.
"I was glad to get out there and race again for the first time since Tokyo, and it was definitely a confidence booster after the disappointment for me in Japan," he said. "I felt really good out there yesterday in the relay, and it was cool to be a part of the first 4x1500m relay ever done here. Hopefully that can be added to the Olympic schedule in the future, as FINA intend to put it forward to the Olympic committee.
"I did feel a little tight out there today in the 10km, off the back of that relay, but that's just a new experience and obviously something every swimmer has to do in terms of back-to-back races. It was a shame to miss out on the prize money for this leg by one place, but overall I'm happy with the ninth place and I'm feeling ready for the new year and to start the World Series off again in 2022."
The podium places went to Leonie Beck (GER, 1:58:17.00), Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA, 1:58:19.30, +00:02.30) and Sharon Van Rouwendaal (NED, 1:58:22.10, +00:05.10).
Alice Dearing illustrated her favoured tactic of swimming from the back and moving through the field. The Loughborough University athlete progressed from deep in the pack to ninth, only seven seconds off the lead past halfway but ultimately fell back from there to finish 20th in 1:59:40.60 (+01:23.60). Bath NC’s Hibbott finished further back in the field in 40th (2:10:50.50, +12:33.50) as her re-introduction to the longest forms of the discipline brought valuable experience.
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