What was previously known as the British Swimming Championships has transitioned to a new name of the 2021 British Swimming Selection Trials, reflecting several changes announced by the nation’s governing body today.
The elite event will be unlike any other in the past, as major alterations have been revealed in light of the UK’s coronavirus environment. Nearly every non-elite swimmer has been out of the water for months, while nations like England have been engaged in another national lockdown. In fact, pools are now still not yet open until the April timeframe for non-elites.
Below are the big alterations to the British Swimming Selection Trials for 2021:
- The ultimate focus will be senior selections for international competition later this year
- The Junior-specific elements of the Trials (i.e., Transition Final, Junior Final) have been removed
- The removal of all non-Olympic events
- Capped number of entries resulting in swimmers having achieved a qualifying time not being admitted to the meet
- The meet is one day shorter, now spanning Wednesday, April 14th to Sunday, April 18th
On the new event format, British Swimming Performance Director, Chris Spice, commented, “Naturally we are disappointed to have to scale the meet back, especially given that 12 months ago we were planning to deliver the biggest and best British Swimming Championships in history. No one will be more disappointed than the swimmers who are missing out and have been out of the water for so long. We share your frustrations but unfortunately we have to work within ongoing DCMS Guidelines, which will be still be in place for April. As a result, all accommodation for this event will be managed centrally and an ‘accommodation bubble’ will be created.
“We are still working hard with the London Aquatics Centre staff on how we will manage this meet in the new restricted format. As soon as we know more, we will advise further around athlete and staff movement, accommodation ‘bubbles’, travel guidelines and the like.
“That being said, we are pleased to confirm that we are well on the way to finalising a series of restart competitions for the summer, once restrictions have been eased further. However, in the short term, we must continue to prepare for the Olympic Games and these selection trials continue to form a key part of our journey to Tokyo.”
As it stands with the new schedule reduced by one day, below is the day-by-day event timeline.