Jack Burnell timed it right to claim his first Marathon Swim World Series victory of the year in China.
The 2016 Rio Olympian had already claimed podium finishes in the Seychelles and Portugal during the 2018 season but his gold medal arrived in Chun’an, China, as he touched the board just 0.1 seconds ahead of Germany’s Rob Frederik Muffels.
Triumphant Burnell, 25, clocked in with a time of one hour 56 minutes 34.8 seconds, also beating Italian Olympic and world champion Gregorio Paltrinieri, who was third, and was delighted that his decision to leave enough in the tank for a grandstand finish paid off.
“It was really hot out there, so a lot of energy conservation had to happen throughout the whole race,” said Scunthorpe’s Burnell.
“I thought I’d gone a bit too early but I knew, with these really quick guys in here, that I had to get out there and give myself a chance, and I managed to do that.
“Everything was all-in. I knew I had that little bit at the end and it was [about] judging when to put that in, and it paid off.
“Another day, it may have been too late or too early. That’s open water – it’s so variable.”
Just one leg of the Marathon World Series remains, with Chun’an race number seven of eight.
All eyes now turn to the 2018 finale in Abu Dhabi on November 9.