British Swimming Sends Ominous Message Regarding Selection Policies

The month of October usually brings the publishing of the British Swimming team selection policies for the coming season. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the organization has decided to take extra time to review the selection process.

The Performance Leadership Group (PLG) will now refrain on publishing selection policies until December 2020 for the following competitions:

  • 2021 Olympic Games (in consultation with the British Olympic Association)
  • 2021 European Championships
  • 2021 European Open Water Championships
  • 2021 European Junior Championships
  • 2021 European Junior Open Water Championships
  • 2021 World Junior Championships
  • 2021 World Junior Open Water Championships
  • 2021 World University Games (in consultation with British Universities and Colleges Sport)

Of note, the actual time standards, team sizes and other typical information aren’t the only items being considered in the 2020/21 process. The PLG says it reserves the right not to even send teams to all of the above events in 2021 due to the ongoing logistical challenges related to the pandemic.

Great Britain is a veritable swimming powerhouse who last year sent a robust roster of 25 athletes to the FINA World Aquatic Championships, finishing 7th in the overall medal table. Before that, the nation finished 2nd overall at the 2018 European Championships.

As such, if Great Britain is having potential difficulty sending athletes to the aforementioned list of competitions, smaller nations with less depth of talent most likely are also hurting due to the pandemic and the financial, logistical and societal issues it brings.

In the past, British Swimming has taken some heat regarding how stiff it sets it qualification times for elite international competitions. For example, the original Tokyo selection policy had its auto-qualification times ranging from 1.3-2.0% faster than the FINA ‘A’ standard, with several marks sitting inside of the British National Record for the event.

Critics of the stiff time standards claim that British Swimming simply sets the bar nearly impossibly high in order to wind up hand-selecting who it wants to appear on its rosters anyway.

Regardless of British Swimming‘s tactics this time around, we’ll need to wait until December to find out.

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UK Coach
21 days ago

“We do what we want, we do what we want. We’re British Swimming, we do what we want”. Same tired old tune from the same clowns. It would be shocking if those with sway and power in British Swimming ever actually did something that helped athletes and the sport.

Corn Pop
Reply to  UK Coach
20 days ago

Your simple Yes/ No referendums take 3 years to accept . This is speedy !

20 days ago

Looks like they have brought this statement out so they can just hand pick who they want to take to the Olympics. Wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t have a British Champs next April, probably just pic people from the National centres at Loughborough and Bath. Hope some of the swimmers outside of those centres take them to task over it. We really need to get rid of the old men at the top of British swimming. Seems ironic that they won’t fund older swimmers but the head coach and his cronies and old!!!

Success Leaves Clues
Reply to  Swammer
16 days ago

Heaven forbid that this makes sense to most people – why publish something now and have to change it later… Swammer and UK Coach must have a better idea? Oh wait a minute, they have no ideas…. And, why change a selection team that clearly doesn’t know what it is doing – 2015 best World’s ever, 2016 best Olympics in 100 years, 2017 second on the World’s medal table; 2018 equal best ever Europeans, 2019 World’s 7 medals Oh, and wont ‘fund’ older swimmers – I suppose you’re right at 32 years of age Alys Thomas is still a spring chicken, and young Georgia Davies at 30, probably has a few more years ahead of her….LOL.. I think they ‘fund’… Read more »

Reply to  Success Leaves Clues
13 days ago

SUCCESS LEAVES CLUES So why Amiee Wilmott and Hannah Miley not funded, they are still successful. don’t think they are slow!! Also don’t think Bill Furniss is young, last time I saw him he didn’t look like he was in his 30s/40s, so unless you know something I don’t!? Was on about people who make decisions on teams, British swimming only like the youngsters well known fact, if you do well at 16/17 they love you then you have a couple of seasons not swimming as fast as you did like Georgia Cotes then you get dumped by them. And as to publishing anything now, nobody is expecting it at this second but I am sure they could run a… Read more »

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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