British World Championships Qualification Times Are Faster Than National Records

British Swimming has confirmed the dates and locations of its two premier swimming events on the schedule for 2023.

British Swimming Championships

First, the all-important British Swimming Championships are slated to take place at Ponds Forge, Sheffield, spanning April 4th through April 9th. The event represents the sole qualifying opportunity for British swimmers to earn consideration for this year’s World Championships in July in Fukuoka, Japan.

British Swimming Selection Criteria for Fukuoka

The selection criteria for the World Championships are based on the top finishers in each event who are able to meet or exceed the British Swimming-specific qualification times. As in years past, these times are faster than the World Aquatics ‘A’ cuts and, in the following cases, are even quicker than the current British national records.

Men’s Events

Event British Swimming Qualifying Time British National Record
100 Free 47.60 47.63
100 Back 52.58 52.73
200 Fly 1:54.22 1:54.58
400 IM 4:09.18 4:09.18

Women’s Events

Event British Swimming Qualification Time British National Record
100 Breast 1:05.97 1:06.21
100 Fly 56.41 57.25

Also as in years past, however, is the selection criteria caveat that a maximum of 8 additional selections may be made at the discretion of the Performance Director and the GBR Head Coach.

Athletes’ performances at these British Swimming Championships that meet or exceed the Table 2 times, which are below, may also be considered for selection, although there is no guarantee.

A maximum team size of 30 is specified in the selection criteria. At the 2022 World Championships in Budapest, British Swimming fielded a squad of 23, including the likes of Duncan Scott, Adam Peaty, Ben Proud and Abbie Wood.

British Summer Championships

The 2023 British Summer Championships will also take place at Ponds Forge, with the dates scheduled for July 22nd through July 28th.

This competition is by invitation only, based on performances rendered during the qualification window of March 10th through May 21st. The 24 top-ranked swimmers in each event in each age grouping will be invited, save for the 800m and 1500m free events where the top 18 athletes will be invited.

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2 months ago

Quite a few of the top Brits are entered at a humble little prep meet this weekend on the Gold Coast.

2 months ago

Seen this before in the Japanese world championships qualifications where standards are faster than the national records

2 months ago

One other problem (and I think Australia used to suffer from this) is that the trials become THE tough event of the year, swimmers then focus on qualifying, then drop the ball and swim slower at the actual Championships. The pressure is on to qualify, then going to the Championships is more like a holiday.

Reply to  torchbearer
2 months ago

This has proven very true, hence the sarcastic “tourist” designation from AUS Olympic officials …. and not exclusively to swimming.

However, a more pertinent issue until the few years was Swimming AUS’s boneheaded persitance in holding the selection meet in April; a number of months in advance of the “major meet” thus necessitating one preparation/peak for Trials then a completely new one for the meet in question. Something many swimmers and their coaches never really got their heads around.

GBR & JPN have their own particular circumstances that may explain their policies but with AUS; my 45+ years of observation has been that QTs (be they FINA A or Swim AUS benchmarks) have been far lesser issues with regards to… Read more »

The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  commonwombat
2 months ago

I agree. This is counterproductive. On your point about April trials being detrimental GBR is sticking with April unlike AUS and is also going harder on the QTs.

Looks like the head coach just wants to handpick the team again.

Max Litchfied has to go a PB and national record and a time that would have won in Tokyo if he wants to go to worlds then.

2 months ago

Here we go again. British swimming administrators being idiots and sinking their meet before it even happens.

2 months ago

GBR, Japan and Australia have the toughest selection standards, probably in that order. I’ve always believed that if you make the FINA ‘A’ cut you should be in the team. For most swimmers the sport brings little in the way of money or public recognition. Competing at the Olympics or World Championships is the only real reward most swimmers get. Denying them that opportunity at the whim of a head coach or bureaucrat seems wrong to me.

2 months ago

I am actually one who is onside with having QTs inside those of FINA A standard. GBR are fully congnisant of the fact that on neither male/female side do they have anywhere near the spread and depth to field full teams and feel that its better to clearly identify their targets.

Having said that; the standards set MUST be realistic. AUS standards, whilst challenging in a few cases, are realistically acheivable (barring a couple of men’s events where there is nobody remotely competitive. The GB “Consideration Times” are, mostly, along those lines.

Some of these “pre-qualifying times” are, however, taking leave of reality.

2 months ago

This will never make any sense.

It takes pressure off your top athletes the more you make things about the team.

Absolutely loved when all the foreigners clowned the US for the Jake Mitchell time trial and then he made the final in Tokyo.

Reply to  Riccardo
2 months ago

US commenters were clowned for calling Jake Mitchell clutch when clutch would’ve been performing in the final at trials.

Reply to  Troyy
2 months ago

Well at the games he proved to be more clutch than Rapsys, Costa, Martens, Malyutin, Bird and Christiansen.

Americans are clutch. Most swimmers overseas would crumble with the pressure of US trials. There are no swims off.

Last edited 2 months ago by Riccardo
Go Kamminga Go
Reply to  Riccardo
2 months ago

Americans are clutch. Most swimmers overseas would crumble with the pressure of US trials. There are no swims off.


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Honest Observer
2 months ago

This is typical of things that the non-athletes on such committees do, self-righteously thinking that they’re “improving quality” and “lighting a fire under the swimmers” and “sending a message.” In fact, all they’re doing is discouraging the swimmers and making them dislike the members of those committees.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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