British Swimming has announced changes to its 2013 major competition schedule in response tot he findings of the London 2012 Performance Debrief. The biggest change is moving the World Championship Trials that have been moved to June 26th-30th in Sheffield rather than the March trials originally expected (like they had last year). This more closely mirrors the American system, where Trials for major meets are usually held very close to the actual competition, and will be again this year.
From March 7th-10th, British Swimming will hold a British Gas Open meet in Leeds that will be an opportunity for British swimmers to get more elite racing in without having to cross outside of their own borders. This meet, as an open, will invite foreign competitors, and the Brits hope to develop it into a premier event in the long-term. In 2013, that meet will be the qualifier for the European Junior Championships and the European Youth Olympic Festival; as well as a part of the World Championship Open Water qualifying.
One of the major points of the post-Olympic report, which can be read in summary here, read that they must “secure changes to the timing and format of the selection trials and the implications of these changes are understood and planned for accordingly.”
This is perhaps an allusion to the confusion and stress caused by the old two-meet qualifying system, where athletes seemed never really certain if they had, in fact, qualified for the Olympics or not. It wasn’t so much the timing that was most hemmed upon by the report, rather it was the lack of a clear plan, as athletes would have to adjust their training cycles on-the-fly, depending on results of the first trials meet.
A small possible conflict is with the Scottish Championships that are usually held at the end of June, though the two sides are discussing solutions currently.
Other fallout we’ve seen already from this report include the resignation of National Team Director Michael Scott, who was unwilling to meet the recommendations of the report that a National Team Director need reside in Britain. Scott lives in Australia.