A group of 44 athletes has been selected to join the British Para-Swimming Podium and Podium Potential Programme as the sport enters the final stretch for Rio.
The sport has been working through a robust performance review programme with athletes and coaches to decide who will receive direct support from UK Sport through the World Class Performance Programme.
At the IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow this summer the sport won a total of 32 medals with 10 golds and achieved a personal best rate of 50%.
Athletes have now returned to training for their final season ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and are working hard to make sure that they achieve qualification.
National Performance Director Chris Furber explained: “This season is the big one for all of us and we have carefully considered our podium athletes for the Paralympic year. The athletes selected to the podium programme have all demonstrated they have the ability to be able to return medals in Rio and have made positive steps to support the vision of the programme of being best performing at the Paralympic Games.
“The funding criteria that we put in place is based on whether the athlete has demonstrated that they on the right trajectory to reach what we’ve predicted the medal times to be in Rio.
“This year we saw that, as expected, the world of Para-Swimming is moving forwards rapidly. We need to make sure that we are ready for what could be the toughest Paralympics Games ever and in order to be at our top end of funding the athletes need to demonstrate that they are improving to keep up with the rest of the world.
“Now, we are in the process of meeting all the athletes and coaches to ensure they have identified correct process goals and have a strong performance plan in place to be at their best for the Games next year.”
Performance Pathway Manager Craig Nicholson added: “This last year has seen significant improvements in world leading times across classifications. This is something that the selection panel has had to carefully consider during the podium potential selection process to ensure that the athletes being identified have true medal potential in 2016 or 2020.
“I believe the 22 athletes that have been selected for the 2016 season are a strong focussed group and show the potential to reach the podium in 2016 or 2020. As a programme, we are looking forward to working with the athletes and their coaches during this season.”
The Podium athletes are:
|Josef Craig||City of Sunderland||Danny Thompson|
|James Crisp||City of Sheffield||Russ Barber|
|Jonathan Fox||National Performance Centre/City of Manchester AST||Rob Greenwood/Graeme Smith|
|Tom Hamer||National Performance Centre/City of Manchester AST||Rob Greenwood/Graeme Smith|
|Oliver Hynd||Nova Centurion||Glenn Smith|
|Michael Jones||National Performance Centre/Loughborough University||Rob Greenwood/Graeme Smith|
|Sascha Kindred||Leominster||Emma Patrick|
|Andrew Mullen||National Performance Centre/Ren 96||Rob Greenwood/Graeme Smith|
|Scott Quin||Warrender Baths||Kris Gilchrist|
|Matt Wylie||City of Sunderland||Danny Thompson|
|Jessica-Jane Applegate||UEA Norwich||Alex Pinniger|
|Claire Cashmore||National Performance Centre/Wyre Forest SC||Rob Greenwood/Graeme Smith|
|Bethany Firth||Ards SC||Nelson Lindsay|
|Tully Kearney||National Performance Centre/Boldmere SC||Rob Greenwood/Graeme Smith|
|Charlotte Henshaw||Nova Centurion||Glenn Smith|
|Harriet Lee||National Performance Centre/Northumbria University||Rob Greenwood/Graeme Smith|
|Stephanie Millward||Aqua Sulis SC||John Dougall|
|Susie Rodgers||Beckenham||Tony Beckley|
|Hannah Russell||National Performance Centre/Guildford City||Rob Greenwood/Graeme Smith|
|Eleanor Simmonds||National Performance Centre/Boldmere SC||Rob Greenwood/Graeme Smith|
|National Performance Centre/Preston SC||Rob Greenwood/Graeme Smith|
|Alice Tai||National Performance Centre/Bournemouth Collegiate School||Rob Greenwood/Graeme Smith|
The Podium Potential Athletes are:
|Jonathan Booth||Borough of Kirklees||Mark Lappin|
|Ben Foulston||Nova||Glenn Smith|
|William Hardy||Gateshead and Whickham||Ken Nesworthy|
|Craig Harris||Swindon Dolphins||Louise Oliver|
|Ryan Nichols||Enfield||Callum Maher-Doyle|
|Jaxon Simmons||City of Peterborough||Ben Negus|
|Jamie Warriner||Preston||Samir Ahmed|
|Lewis White||City of Derby||Melanie Marshall|
|Chloe Davies||Swansea Aquatics||Billy Pye|
|Erraid Davies||Delting Dolphins||Lorraine Gifford|
|Coral Farrell||Warrington Warriors||Darren Ashley|
|Danielle Hartin||Basildon Phoenix||Matt Dibble|
|Grace Harvey||Hoddesdon||Janet Warrington|
|Beth Johnston||B.E.S.T||Lauren Jocelyn|
|Lily MacLeod||Richmond Dales||Paul Remmonds|
|Adele Maguire||Warrington Warriors||Darren Ashley|
|Jay McCabe||Derwentside||Chris Dove|
|Vince Ayling/Louise Hargrave
|Eleanor Robinson||Northampton||Andy Sharp|
|Maisie Summer Newton||Northampton||Andy Sharp|
Swimming news courtesy of British Swimming.