After a turbulent British Olympic Trials in Glasgow where athletes were faced with qualification standards set faster than the FINA A cuts, the 26-member squad selected to represent Great Britain at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio has officially been announced.
With the highs and lows that came with several event winners claiming national titles, only to have their Olympic fate hang in the balance by falling short of the qualification times, everyone that came within 2% of the British Consideration standards wound up being selected. However, this still means that 3 British National Champions will be watching the Olympic Games from home.
Highlighting the roster is World Record Holder Adam Peaty, who claimed the decisive win in the men’s 100m breaststroke event at the Trials. He’ll be joined by fellow breaststrokers Ross Murdoch and Craig Benson, both of whom hail from the University of Stirling program.
Also from Stirling are freestylers Robbie Renwick and Duncan Scott, the former of which represents the oldest member of the newly-minted squad, checking in at 27 years old. Rio will be Renwick’s 3rd Olympic Games appearance.
Scott, at just 18, had a break-through meet in Glasgow, stealing the 100m freestyle win from Ben Proud, while also earning bronze in the 200 IM and 4th in the 200m freestyle. Proud still made the squad by way of his British National Record in the men’s 50m freestyle.
World Champion James Guy was a surety in making the roster, having claimed wins in British qualifying times in both the 200m and 400m freestyle. Guy may also pull butterfly duty on the men’s 400m medley relay, along with Chris Walker-Hebborn, who was presumably selected to fill the backstroke role on that relay.
26-year old Hannah Miley is another 3rd-time Olympian, having been named to the Rio roster after having won the women’s 400m IM. She’ll be joined by fellow 26-year-old Fran Halsall, who missed the women’s 1st place-qualifying cut, but still won the women’s 50m freestyle within the 2% consideration standard.
Georgia Coates, who finished 3rd in the women’s 200m freestyle, represents the youngest member of the entire squad, making the team at just 17 years of age.
Wild card spots were given to Cameron Kurle and Ieuan Lloyd, the men who finished 5th and 6th, respectively, in the men’s 200 freestyle race. Dan Wallace, who is quoted as saying this year’s Trials was “the worst meet he’s ever had”, also snatched up a wild card selection and now finds himself headed to his first Olympic Games.
Although the British Selection Policy stated the Head Coach and High Performance Director could select up to 30 people to represent the squad, they stopped at 26. This resulted in veterans Liam Tancock and Lizzie Simmonds being left at home, which was no surprise given their results, but a few notables were also left off.
Roberto Pavoni earned the British National title in the men’s 200m IM, but was unable to clock a time within the 2% British Consideration standard. The same held true for Alys Thomas in the women’s 100m butterfly and Adam Mallett 200m butterfly. European Games champion Luke Greenbank clocked the win in the men’s 200m backstroke at Trials, but falls into the same boat as the aforementioned in terms of not hitting the qualification mark, thus rendering him a stay-at-home status.
Those that did make the team took to social media with their excitement and the countdown to Rio now begins. On his selection, double World Champion Peaty said, “I’m thrilled to have been selected for Team GB. I first watched my teammate Craig Benson in the Olympics [London 2012] and I was really jealous. He was the same age and he was at a home Olympics, something I would never get a chance to do again. I was looking at the results on my phone. It was like a ‘what am I doing with my life’ kind of moment. From then, I watched all the Olympics and said to myself that I would make the next one. That was my defining moment, to stop messing about now and get my head down.”
“I don’t want to be a team-maker (in Rio), that’s the most important definition for me. I want to make my country proud and give it the best shot I can really and wear that Team GB tracksuit with pride.”
Veteran Hannah Miley responded to the selection announcement by stating, “It’s quite hard to put into words what it feels like to be selected for my third Olympics. I still love my sport as much as I’ve always done and to reach my third Olympics just highlights the dedication that me and my family have put into the sport.”
“It’s another fantastic opportunity to put myself out there against the very best in the world – in the biggest event in the world – and hopefully I can come out on top. I feel a lot more confident, centred and happy this time around. My previous experiences have been great in Beijing and London but I feel different heading into Rio and I’m confident that will help me to perform.”
“I’m really looking forward to this Olympics. I’m more mature and more experienced, and I’ll approach this one differently to the previous two.”
Of the team as a whole, Rio 2016 Swimming Team Leader Chris Spice commented, “What we have is a focused, well-balanced team with some very exciting young prospects. The team has been refreshed as a result of a series of great performances from some of our Podium Potential youngsters – Chloe Tutton, Cameron Kurle, Molly Renshaw, Craig Benson, Georgia Coates and Max Litchfield, who all produced stunning performances to upset their more senior rivals and make the Olympic team.”
“But perhaps the swim of the Championships came from 18-year-old Tim Shuttleworth in the 1500m freestyle where he had the Glasgow crowd on its feet.”
“The challenge for everyone is to move our performances on between now and the summer. Athletes have done a good job to make the team but our primary focus is to improve performances in Rio and we will leave no stone unturned in pursuit of this,” said Spice
Below is the complete list of the 2016 British Olympic Team, broken out by qualification status:
The athletes below gained selection after they won their event and achieved the nomination standard at the 2016 British Championships as per the BOA selection policy.
James Guy, 20, Bury, Millfield
Adam Peaty, 21, Uttoxeter, City of Derby
Max Litchfield, 21, Sheffield, City of Sheffield
Jazz Carlin, 25, Swindon, National Centre Bath
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, 20, Bath, National Centre Bath
Andrew Willis, 25, Frimley, National Centre Bath
Hannah Miley, 26, Swindon, Garioch
Ben Proud, 21, London, Plymouth Leander
The athletes below gained selection after they achieved a time within 2% of the set benchmark time included within the BOA selection policy (individual and relay).
Chloe Tutton, 19, Pontypridd, City of Cardiff
Ross Murdoch, 22, Balloch, University of Stirling
Stephen Milne, 21, Inverness, Perth City
Robbie Renwick, 27, Abu Dhabi, University of Stirling
Duncan Scott, 18, Glasgow, University of Stirling
Craig Benson, 21, Livingston, University of Stirling
Fran Halsall, 26, Southport, National Centre Loughborough
Molly Renshaw, 19, Mansfield, National Centre Loughborough
Chris Walker-Hebborn, 25 Enfield, National Centre Bath
Tim Shuttleworth, 18, Hatfield, National Centre Loughborough
Aimee Willmott, 23, Middlesbrough, London Aquatics Centre PP
Eleanor Faulkner, 23, Sheffield, City of Sheffield
Georgia Coates, 17, Leeds, City of Leeds
Camilla Hattersley, 21, Edinburgh, City of Glasgow
Georgia Davies, 25, London, National Centre Loughborough
The athletes below gained selection at the discretion of the British Head Coach and National Performance Director as per the BOA selection policy. The criteria for these decisions included (but not limited to) the need to rest key athletes that have large schedules; a proven track record as a relay swimmer at major international meets; individual performances at the British Championships 2016.
Cameron Kurle, 18, Glastonbury, Millfield
Ieuan Lloyd, 22, Penarth, City of Cardiff
Daniel Wallace, 22, Edinburgh, Warrender