Although the bulk of the British Swimming roster for next month’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan had already been announced, swimmers were able to score last-chance qualifying opportunities at the Glasgow Meet earlier this month.
Based on performances at both the European Championships as well as in Glasgow, two swimmers to the tune of Laura Stephens and Lucy Hope have been selected by the British Olympic Association (BOA) to join the lineup, completing a swim team of 30-strong for the nation.
Edinburgh University’s Hope claimed 4 relay gold medals in Budapest, including helping GBR snag the top prize in the women’s 800m free relay along with Tamryn van Selm, Holly Hibbott and Emma Russell in a prelims role.
Although not officially announced by British Swimming, it appears as though they will be forgoing representation in this 800m free relay in Tokyo, based on the fact that, aside from Hope, Anderson and Abbie Wood, there have been no other 200m freestyles additionally named to the roster.
Update: The Brazilian swimming federation has named a women’s 4×200 free relay to its Olympic team. Brazil would have been the first nation out of the Olympics if Great Britain had taken the wild card spot, so Brazil’s inclusion further confirms that Great Britain will not contest this relay at the Olympics.
As for Plymouth Leander’s Stephens, the butterfly ace notched an Olympic-worthy time in Glasgow, crushing her own previous personal best by more than half a second.
As for Robin Armayan-trained Stephens, the athlete said of her selection, “It feels absolutely incredible and a bit overwhelming, part of it hasn’t quite sunk in yet and I don’t think it will until I’m literally on the plane going,” said Stephens, who trains in Plymouth under Robin Armayan.
“Every time that I have represented this country, it’s always been such a big honour, but to do it on the biggest stage that our sport has is a real honour and such a privilege.
“I feel incredibly lucky. I’ve had the best support staff that I could have around me, my family and friends have been there for me since day one, they have believed in me, and that is the meaning behind being able to put that kit on and say ‘I’m an Olympian for Team GB’.”
Hope is also ecstatic at the chance to make her Olympic debut, saying, “It’s quite surreal, especially after the year we’ve all had with COVID and everything. It has extended a four-year cycle to a five-year cycle. I’m just over the moon and can’t wait for the experience.
“My first ever Olympics, it’s the pinnacle of our sport. It will be special. We’ve got kitting out soon, so even just to go and experience that, it’s all about me absorbing as much as I can and then going and putting down some good performances in the summer.”
On the final selections for the swimming team, Team GB Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020 Mark England said, “It is fantastic to be able to welcome two more talented swimmers on to the team for the Tokyo Olympic Games. This is an incredibly strong team of 30 individuals and we’ve seen from Laura and Lucy’s recent performances that they will undoubtedly impress in Tokyo.
“We’d like to congratulate them both on their selection and hope that they soak up all the excitement that comes with being an Olympic debutant.”
Chris Spice, British Swimming National Performance Director and Team GB Swimming Team Leader, added: “I’m delighted to welcome Laura and Lucy onto the team, their selection just reward for some impressive swims over the last month, individually and most importantly in our relays. They have shown incredible resilience to bounce back and get the job done – this epitomises one of the key traits of our 30-strong team.
“I’ve no doubt they, along with the rest of the team, will kick on again as we fine-tune our preparations for the Games over the coming weeks.”
30-Strong British Swimming Roster for Tokyo Olympic Games:
Freya Anderson – Upton (The Wirral), Bath National Centre
Kieran Bird – Bicester, Bath National Centre
Kathleen Dawson, Warrington, University of Stirling
Tom Dean – Maidenhead, Bath National Centre
Luke Greenbank – Cockermouth, Loughborough National Centre (pre-selected in January 2021)
James Guy – Bury, Bath National Centre
Anna Hopkin – Chorley, Loughborough National Centre
Calum Jarvis – Wadebridge, Bath National Centre
Dan Jervis – Neath, Swansea University
Harriet Jones – Cardiff, City of Cardiff
Joe Litchfield – Pontefract, Loughborough National Centre
Max Litchfield – Pontefract, Loughborough National Centre
Ross Murdoch – Balloch, University of Stirling
Adam Peaty – Uttoxeter, Loughborough National Centre (pre-selected in January 2021)
Jacob Peters – Poole, Bath National Centre
Ben Proud – London, Bath University
Molly Renshaw – Mansfield, Loughborough National Centre
Matthew Richards – Droitwich, Bath National Centre
Duncan Scott – Glasgow, University of Stirling (pre-selected in January 2021)
Alys Thomas – Swansea, Swansea University
Sarah Vasey – Derby, Loughborough National Centre
Jacob Whittle – Alfreton, Derventio Excel
James Wilby – York, Loughborough National Centre (pre-selected in January 2021)
Cassie Wild – Chester, University of Stirling
Brodie Williams – Street, Bath National Centre
Aimee Willmott – Middlesborough, University of Stirling
Alicia Wilson – Tadworth, Guilford City
Abbie Wood – Buxton, Loughborough National Centre
Laura Stephens – Plymouth Leander
Lucy Hope – Edinburgh University