Amidst National Lockdowns, Manchester Int’l Meet On Schedule

When our High-Level International Meets list for the month of February was published late last month, several readers questioned whether the Manchester International Swim Meet, slated for February 12th-14th would indeed proceed.

Meet organizers have confirmed today that the meet has been given the green light, albeit with several changes having to be implemented from years past.

Much of the United Kingdom has been under national-level lockdowns, with only elite athletes able to train at this time. Following the government’s COVID-19 protocols, the meet will be restricted to these elite athletes only. Specifically for England, only those athletes on the government-approved Elite Athlete Return to Training lists are permitted to compete, with the competition run under the corresponding DCMS guidelines.

The approach to producing the meet is much akin to the International Swimming League (ISL) bubble in Budapest. British Swimming, Manchester City Council, GLL and The City of Manchester Swim Team (COMAST) have collaborated to ensure that traffic flow, athlete confinement outside of competition and social distancing rules are followed and guidelines are adhered to throughout the competition.

Expected competitors include Adam Peaty, James Wilby and Luke Greenbank, with these three already having been named the Tokyo Olympic team. Paralympic champions Ellie Simmonds and Ellie Robinson are also expected to compete.

On the announcement, Jack Buckner, British Swimming Chief Executive, said “We are very grateful to Manchester for their hard work to allow this event to happen during such difficult times for the whole country, including our aquatics community. With the Olympic and Paralympic Games drawing ever closer, our swimmers need competition opportunities. The Manchester event will provide that, as other nations also return to elite competition. However, the health and safety of all involved, from athletes right through to volunteers, is our absolute priority, and we are confident that the measures we have put in place are extremely robust and will keep everyone as safe as possible.

“We acknowledge that as the British governing body for aquatics, we are in an extremely privileged position to be able to continue with our activity during this lockdown, whilst observing all the COVID regulations. This elite-only meet is key for us if we are to achieve our ambitions in Tokyo. Our thoughts are also with the wider aquatics community and we shall support all of the Home Nations’ efforts to return to the water as soon as permitted.”

Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Skills for the City of Manchester, added:

“This event will be held safely behind closed doors observing all the correct COVID-safe protocols, and we are totally supportive of British Swimming’s efforts to help the athletes’ critical preparations for the upcoming Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo later this year.”

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U.K. Coach
4 months ago

Another slap in the face to the rest of the swimmers across the U.K. forced to stay out of the water. They should be clear that participants are the swimmers “we’ve hand picked”, not just elites. Plenty of highly ranked kids being shut out because they don’t train with the right program even if they are deemed “elite” by the governments actual definition. Can they just be down with the charade and name the whole Olympic team so anyone clinging to hope can just quit like BS want them too? What a joke of an organisation.

Coach
Reply to  U.K. Coach
4 months ago

This…..top ranked, British Summer champions and British record holders all locked out! Understand not everyone can train but the lack of transparency…..Just adding to anxiety and uncertainty

Swammer
4 months ago

If this is specifically for England only then why are swimmers coming from Wales and also how come international swimmers training at Loughborough have been invited over English swimmers that have qualified for Olympic Trials?

swimfin5
Reply to  Swammer
4 months ago

The meet is called international swim meet. So if you don’t have international swimmers they have to change the name and banners and that was too expensive.

SwimDad642
Reply to  Swammer
4 months ago

Honestly the simple answer to this ridiculous statement is the fact that the international swimmers invited are faster than every other ‘Olympic trials qualifier’ who hasn’t been invited. It is an elite high level competition therefore it is better to invite faster international swimmers who train in the country than British trials qualifiers who aren’t as fast. Also, hundreds of swimmers will have qualified for Olympic trials as the qualifying times have been made considerably slower for some reason. Therefore it would only be fair to invite them all to the meet if that was the case. This would completely negate the point of a high level international meet and it would be impossible to follow COVID protocols. Hope this… Read more »

Swammer
Reply to  SwimDad642
4 months ago

Yeah I do get that, not stupid, but there are some high level elite swimmers that haven’t been invited and should of been. As usual it is a case of who British Swimming and Swim England want and like also there should be some space as the swimmers training in Scotland are not allowed to travel so they won’t be there.

SwimDad642
Reply to  Swammer
4 months ago

I am making the assumption that the only swimmers invited to this meet are on British Swimming funding, in the NTC’s or on the Swim England Performance squad (with the exception of the international athletes). Therefore it isn’t really to do with who the organisations like and don’t like instead it’s based on who is fast enough and who is likely to make a senior GB team, whether it be Olympics, Commonwealths, European or World champs. Looking at it from a holistic POV, you can expect the athletes racing here to all be looking to make some of those teams.

U.K. Coach
Reply to  SwimDad642
4 months ago

They’ve left highly ranked swimmers out just because they choose not to train at those locations. Tell me another country that would lock out a senior swimmer ranked in the top 4 of the 100 free with no explanation or justification.

SwimDad642
Reply to  U.K. Coach
4 months ago

The 3 swimmers who you might be referring to in the top 4 of the 100fc all train in Scotland so that’s why they won’t be there

Swammer
Reply to  SwimDad642
4 months ago

Yes they have left out swimmers ranked higher than the ones on Swim England programme and higher than those in the NTC, so yes it is a case of whether your face fits or if you are a hidden gem!!!!!

Swammer
4 months ago

Since when have Welsh and international swimmers currently training at Loughborough been on the England Elite return to training list?

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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