Scunthorpe Swimmer Making a Splash in Rio

By Zoe Conville on August 4th, 2016 - comments

Open water swimmer, Jack Burnell, was the first British athlete to be given a named place at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Jack, who was born in Scunthorpe and lives in North Hykeham, qualified for the Games after finishing fifth in the World Championship 10 kilometre (km) swimming marathon in Russia last year.

Jack BurnellOriginally a 1500m pool swimmer, Jack will make his Olympic debut at the marathon swimming event being held at Fort Copacabana on Tuesday 16th August.

The 10km swimming race is a relatively new Olympic sport, having first been introduced at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 as part of the swimming programme. Now it is a standalone sport, spread across two days.

Open-water swimming can be brutal, with athletes sustaining cracked ribs and broken noses despite it not being a contact sport. It takes a huge commitment to training to swim 10km in open-water and a lot of mental strength as well.

You can keep up to date with Jack’s Olympic journey by following him on Twitter @JackBurnell.

We wish you all the best in Rio, Jack. Everyone in Lincolnshire is behind you.

Photograph: Team GB