Alys Thomas To Jacob Whittle: 28-Strong British OLY Roster Revealed

An additional 24 swimmers have officially been named to the British Swimming roster for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, bringing the total up to 28 for the postponed 2020 Games.

Four swimmers had already been named to the lineup based on their performances at the 2019 FINA World Championships. That included the quad of Duncan Scott, James Wilby, Adam Peaty and Luke Greenbank. However, we now have a clearer picture of the type of power the British arsenal will be carrying to Tokyo, both on the men’s and women’s sides with the addition of both young guns and veterans.

The additional 24 athletes were named as a result of having achieved qualification times and placements at the British Olympic Selection Trials, which took place earlier this month. The British Swimming organization also selected one athlete, Calum Jarvis, using their discretionary power.

However, the roster is not a done deal, with more names having the ability to be potentially added based on future performances through the qualification window.

Among the newly-named Tokyo Olympians are Kathleen Dawson, the University of Stirling star who fired off the best times of her career in the 100m and 200m backstroke events. Two-time European Short Course champion Freya Anderson also proved worthy in the 100m and 200m freestyle races, while Molly Renshaw‘s 200m breaststroke national record will allow her to potentially improve upon her 6th place finish from Rio.

In terms of age range, Swansea-based Alys Thomas will be making her Olympic debut at the age of 30, while relay member Jacob Whittle has made the grade at just 16. Matt Richards is another young gun at just 18 years of age, having placed 2nd in the 100m free event.

On the roster, Team GB Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Mark England, commented,

“In the space of less than a week we have seen the number of Team GB athletes selected for Tokyo jump from 74, which is incredibly exciting and demonstrates just how much the momentum is growing as we edge closer to 23rd July.

“The quality of this team is exceptionally high and the recent selection trials illustrated how dedicated each swimmer has been to earning their selection for Tokyo throughout what has undoubtedly been a very challenging period. Congratulations to everyone and we look forward to watching you all in action in Tokyo.”

British Swimming Performance Director and Swimming Team Leader for Tokyo, Chris Spice, said,“What an amazing week of racing we just witnessed at the iconic London Aquatics Centre. We had several stand out performances and personal bests at every turn. We have over 40% athletes on the team that were not with us at our last World Championships in 2019 which demonstrates the outstanding work coaches and support staff across Britain have done keeping these athletes training to the highest of levels in very challenging circumstances during the last 18 months.

“Of course, our work has only just begun and we now turn our attention to swimming faster in the summer which I know every athlete on this team is capable of. If we do this, I am sure we can have a very successful Tokyo Games.”

Great Britain finished in 6th place in the overall medal table at the last Olympic Games in Rio, having claimed one gold and 5 silver medals. Peaty represented the sole Olympic gold medalist, while now-retired Jazz Carlin took 400m and 800m free silver. Siobhan-Marie O’Connor also reaped silver in the 200m IM; she did not participate in the British Olympic Trials and has said her future is unknown at this point.

British Swimming Roster for Postponed 2020 Olympic Games (for now):

Freya Anderson – Upton (The Wirral), Bath National Centre

Kieran Bird – Bicester, Bath National Centre

Kathleen Dawson, Warrington, University of Stirling

Tom Dean – Maidenhead, Bath National Centre

Luke Greenbank – Cockermouth, Loughborough National Centre (pre-selected in January 2021)

James Guy – Bury, Bath National Centre

Anna Hopkin – Chorley, Loughborough National Centre

Calum Jarvis – Wadebridge, Bath National Centre

Dan Jervis – Neath, Swansea University

Harriet Jones – Cardiff, City of Cardiff

Joe Litchfield – Pontefract, Loughborough National Centre

Max Litchfield – Pontefract,  Loughborough National Centre

Ross Murdoch – Balloch, University of Stirling

Adam Peaty – Uttoxeter, Loughborough National Centre (pre-selected in January 2021)

Jacob Peters – Poole, Bath National Centre

Ben Proud – London, Bath University

Molly Renshaw – Mansfield, Loughborough National Centre

Matthew Richards – Droitwich, Bath National Centre

Duncan Scott – Glasgow, University of Stirling (pre-selected in January 2021)

Alys Thomas – Swansea, Swansea University

Sarah Vasey – Derby, Loughborough National Centre

Jacob Whittle – Alfreton, Derventio Excel

James Wilby – York, Loughborough National Centre (pre-selected in January 2021)

Cassie Wild – Chester, University of Stirling

Brodie Williams – Street, Bath National Centre

Aimee Willmott – Middlesborough, University of Stirling

Alicia Wilson – Tadworth, Guilford City

Abbie Wood – Buxton, Loughborough National Centre

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Sapnu puas
8 days ago

Oh they really said Jacob Whittle, you’re going in the relay eh? FairPlay! Not bad going for 16…

Big fan of Dawson saying she won’t bother with 200m backstroke so she can focus on mixed medley relay…she wants a medal, rate it!

8 days ago

Interesting looking at the hometowns that only Scott and Proud are from big cities, it’s a team primarily made up of swimmers from towns and smaller cities.

Given there are relatively few long course pools in Britain and most of those are in the big cities, it just demonstrates that in the early years quality coaching is what really matters when it comes to developing that pipeline of talent (that said, in their later teens many of these swimmers had to drive for hours/move to boarding school to get to a decent pool).

Reply to  Togger
8 days ago

Agree entirely – only 3 swimmers coming from London and the South East (I think) which makes up c 1/3 of UK population

Reply to  Togger
8 days ago

Yes, only three swimmers representing clubs. The rest from National Centers or University’s.

Reply to  Togger
8 days ago

Scott himself never actually trained in Glasgow. I think he was born there and it is often repeated in articles and on TV coverage that he is from Glasgow but I don’t think he’s ever lived there. Started off in North Ayrshire, then spent a few years with the very small team at Alloa before then moving to join the Falkirk regional team when not at boarding school.

Think this further emphasises your point that golf coaching in the early years is what matters not necessarily facilities.

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
Reply to  Togger
8 days ago

Isn’t Proud from Malaysia?

Reply to  Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
8 days ago


Reply to  Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
8 days ago

Grew up there but originally from London, but yes his formative swimming was there (albeit in Kuala Lumpur, which isn’t small).

8 days ago

Hopefully the european championship teams are full of all those who were there or there abouts at trials so the olympics team can be filled as much as possible. The Woman’s 200 Fly, 400 Free, Free Relays could be the spotlight events for the last spaces so hopefully those girls can build upon their trials performances.

Reply to  Jack
8 days ago

I’m quite surprised they didn’t use a discretionary pick for Hibbott

Reply to  Peter
8 days ago

Would have been a surprise at this point – the only discretionary pick so far is Jarvis, as a 4x200m backup.

Remember, this is only the first wave of selections.

Reply to  Iain
8 days ago

Yeah if they were to pick Hibbot they would also have to pick Hope to fill the 4×200 but then you may aswell pick Davis for the 4×100 and you’ll then have 31 and most of the team selected before the other opportunities even come around. If Hibbott isn’t eventually picked i think she would be the biggest suprise oversight for me, i would guess she will be going.

Reply to  Jack
8 days ago

I think stephens will make it too

Reply to  Iain
8 days ago

Jarvis actually qualified for the 1500m

Reply to  Nick
8 days ago

There’s a Jarvis and a jervis. The former for the 4 x 2, the latter for the 1500.

Reply to  Nick
7 days ago

That was Daniel Jervis not callum Jarvis

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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