The 2020 British Swimming Championships will be heading back to the London Aquatics Centre, with the event now opening up to even more participants. The ultra-important meet, which is slated for April 14th to April 19th, acts as the selection event for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, as well as the 2020 European Championships and European Junior Championships squads.
Per British Swimming‘s announcement today, September 20th, “given the higher cost of the event being in London, British Swimming’s Performance Implementation Group has agreed that this provides a great opportunity to open the event up to a much larger group of competitors to meet the heightened interest in the 2020 event.”
British Swimming’s Head of Elite Development, Tim Jones, states, “Listening to feedback from the last couple of British Championships, we believe that having more athletes involved will spark positive interest in the meet from the swimming community, promoting a more inclusive event.
The previous British Swimming Championships, including the 2016 pre-Olympics edition, followed the traditional prelims/finals format, with the former taking place at 10:00 am local and the latter taking place at 6:30 pm local. The finals were split out into 3 distinct categories: Junior, Target Tokyo and Open.
Says Jones of the 2020 edition, however, “We are going to run three sessions per day, comprising of faster heats in the morning, slower heats early afternoon, and continue with a three-final format in the evening in a similar vein to previous British Championships. This approach has been implemented across the world and widening the scope of these competitions have been accepted positively.
In terms of qualifying times for the British Swimming Championships, British Swimming previously experimented with adding a new set of time cuts specifically for the emerging athletes making the transition between junior and senior swimming. For the 2019 British Swimming Championships, a listing of ‘progression’ cuts was a late inclusion to the qualification standards for the meet, applying to those swimmers falling into the first two years of the male and female Open age group. The times thus applied to those swimmers born in 1999 and 2000 (males) or 2000 and 2001 (females).
However, the British Swimming announcement today cites they will be doing away with the multi-tiered qualification times for the Championships for 2020.
“We have discussed for a good period of time the issue of qualifying times, and have landed for ease on a simple single-entry time, which has been made simpler given there is only one junior team being selected this year. We really look forward to welcoming a host of first-time athletes to the 2020 British Championships,” says Jones.
As such, the qualifying times below apply to the 2020 British Swimming Championships, regardless of age. I’ve also included the multi-tiered qualifying times for the 2019 British Swimming Championships below, just for comparison.
2020 British Swimming Championships Qualification Times: