British Swimming has announced that they will take 40 swimmers to Shanghai for the 2011 FINA World Aquatics Championships at the end of July. Last week, the Brit’s completed the final leg of their World Championship qualifying by handing out several more roster spots.
All of the usual suspects made the list, including Simon Burnett, who is returning to his sprint form for the British squad. There were a few surprises, however. Georgia Davies, who had a spectacular swim in the 50 backstroke to move to 3rd in the world. Davies was late to the ready-room before the 100 backstroke, but swam a 100 time-trial during the 200 backstroke and touched in 59.60, which would have made her the fastest Brit this year. Though she technically didn’t earn an individual swim, the Brits are taking her as a relay alternate.
Also on the fence previously was Siobham-Marie O’Connor, who at only 15-years old earned the right to join star Hannah Miley in the 200 IM in Shanghai. The issue was, however, that she swam at last week’s Nationals unrested and with no intent of even earning a spot, and was instead focused fully on swimming at European Juniors instead. After the suprise qualification and discussing the matter with her coach, however, she decided that the World Championships was the place for her to be.
O’Connor isn’t even the youngest swimmer on the roster, however. That honor goes to 14-year old Molly Renshaw, who earned her way onto the squad by being the 2nd of two swimmers under the old English Record in the 200 breaststroke.
In the official British Gas Swimming press release, Performance Director Michael Scott had some cautious optimism about the latest round of speed-burning swims by British swimmers. While he was pleased with the squad’s current World Rankings, he pointed to every corner of the globe for competitors yet to be seen. He acknowledged that the Americans are yet to have had a trials in 2011, which is reflected in their lack of top rankings, and that the Chinese will be incredibly tough on home turf. He also expects tough competition from Australia, and sees a rising tide of parity in the European continent as a big cause for concern at World’s.
One of the team’s biggest stars, 100 backstroke World Record holder Gemma Spofforth, did a bit of a belly-flop at the Santa Clara Grand Prix over the weekend. Though she’s undoubtedly participating in some high-intensity workouts with the Gator Swim Club, she was probably hoping for better than her 21st-place finish in the 100 backstroke (1:02.93) and not even finaling in the 200 (2:18.06).
The excitement on the men’s side is to see what Auburn collegian Adam Brown can do with a real taper. At British Nationals in March, he cruised to an easy win in the 50 (though he missed the FINA A time in the 100), but that meet was held at an awkward timing, just a few weeks before NCAA’s. Now, with a full-shave and taper like he had at his spectacular NCAA Championship meet, I’m expecting at the bare minimum a semi-final from him in Shanghai, if not a final.
A great name to see on the list is Kate Haywood, who had her British Lottery funding pulled when she left the UK to continue her training in Australia alongside the great Leisel Jones. While training down-under, her boyfriend Kevin has had to work hard to support both of them, and it’s great to see her persevere and make the squad.
- Adam Brown Hatfield/Auburn
- Simon Burnett Windsor
- David Carry Stockport
- Ross Davenport Loughborough
- James Disney-May Millfield
- Daniel Fogg Loughborough
- Kristopher Gilchrist Bath
- James Goddard Stockport
- Antony James Plymouth Leander
- Michael Jamieson Bath
- Roberto Pavoni Loughborough
- Robbie Renwick City of Glasgow
- Michael Rock Stockport
- Joseph Roebuck Loughborough University
- Jak Scott Stirling
- Liam Tancock Loughborough
- Grant Turner Loughborough
- Chris Walker-Hebborn Bath
- Joshua Walsh Stirling
- Andrew Willis Bath
- Rebecca Adlington Nova Centurion
- Jazmin Carlin Swansea
- Georgia Davies Swansea
- Ellen Gandy Beckenham
- Francesca Halsall Loughborough
- Kate Haywood Loughborough University
- Joanne Jackson Loughborough
- Jemma Lowe Swansea
- Siobhan-Marie O’Connor Bath
- Caitlin McClatchey Loughborough University
- Hannah Miley Garioch
- Keri-Anne Payne Stockport
- Stephanie Proud Chester-Le-Street/University of Florida
- Molly Renshaw Derventio
- Elizabeth Simmonds Loughborough
- Amy Smith Loughborough University
- Gemma Spofforth Portsmouth Northsea/University of Florida
- Stacey Tadd University of Bath
- Rebecca Turner City of Sheffield
- Emma Wilkins Plymouth Leander