While nations such as Australia, Canada and South Africa are announcing their rosters for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games set for Argentina in October, British Swimming has revealed it will not be nominating any swimmers to participate in the Games.
Per the statement released today, May 10th, British Swimming says, “The decision to not attend the Youth Olympic Games in 2018 is based on the timing of event.
“The Games are due to take place at the beginning of the 2018/19 season, compromising preparation time and end-of-season peak performance set out in British Swimming’s Pathway Strategy.
“Preparing to deliver results at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, means British Swimming is fully focused on the 2019 summer meets and providing appropriate opportunities at appropriate times.”
Although the 2018 Youth Olympic Games appear on the official British Swimming competition calendar, its dates overlap with a 3-week National Altitude Camp in Flagstaff, Arizona. The other competitions included on the late 2018 calendar for Britain include the World Cup circuit throughout September and October, as well as the FINA Short Course World Championships slated for early December in Hangzhau, China.
Held every 4 years, the Youth Olympic Games is organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The multi-national, multi-sport competition first took place in 2010. However, the competition has run into participation issues over the years, with key swimmers opting for other meets including the Short Course World Championships.
For comparison, when the 2014 British Youth Olympic Games squad was announced 4 years ago, Nathan Hilton, Team Leader for Swimming said,“The Youth Olympic Games will give these young athletes a fantastic learning experience in a multi-sport environment, which is an important part of a swimmers development, and I’m sure will help them progress and set them up well for stepping up to the senior level.”
At that 2014 edition of the YOG’s, Great Britain finished 8th overall in the medal table, with the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay claiming the nation’s sole gold. Of note, 2016 Olympic double silver medalist and 2018 Commonwealth champion Duncan Scott was among the foursome winning that relay 4 years ago. He most recently became the most decorated Scotsman ever at a Commonwealth Games.