Stephens & Hope Added To British Olympic Roster For Tokyo

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

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Rafael
1 month ago
Niall
Reply to  Rafael
1 month ago

How is a predicted 4-6 place finish not Olympics worthy yet some of the selected individuals will be fighting to make the semi’s.

A shame for Curle and Van Selm not being taken for the 4x200s and even Davis for the 4×100. British swimming clearly did not want to take anymore than they need.

Rafael
Reply to  Niall
1 month ago

Probably as they don´t have any medal chanches they gave up.. and even 4th would be a tall bet with China there

lee walker
Reply to  Niall
1 month ago

Because the selectors are the usual dick heads ..no relay or emphasis on them for years hence no incentive for sprint swimmers ..thats why we have been perpetual underperformers for decades…but thats not unusual. in fact its the norm…

Success Leaves Clues
Reply to  lee walker
8 days ago

Have you been asleep the last 6 years…? British relays are the best they have ever been because they focus on the one’s that are medal opportunities. Britain is not deep with swimmers and you have to weigh up the detriment to individual athletes medal chances vs the relay medal chances. We are not America or Australia where we can just rest everyone and be fine. Lee you need to go crawl back under that rock….

Olympic roster
1 month ago

Cameron Kurle and Holly Hibbott get royally shafted…without Kurle there’s less flexibility for the 4×200 as I’m sure he could’ve trained specifically for a great one off heat swim along with Jarvis. FWIW Davis, Van Selm and Russell deserved a ticket as relay only swimmers. The 4×200 final is within easy reach of Holly and the youngsters, but instead we’ll watch a team or two in the final who barely scraped three swimmers to go under 2:00.80 (remember, even Russia, France and Hungary may not opt in for the 4×200)

maybe?
Reply to  Olympic roster
1 month ago

The Women’s 200 Breast and 100 free semi’s are in the same session as the Women’s 4×200 freestyle relay final so Freya and Abbie might not be able to swim it so that’s probably the reason why they aren’t sending a 4×200 team, no point sending a relay who will only finish 6th anyway.

No way in hell should they take both Davis and Russell to swim the heats of the 4×100, they will not make the final if they do that, they should’ve taken only Davis imo and even that is a bit of a risk

Success Leaves Clues
Reply to  maybe?
8 days ago

The only sensible person in the room…!!

Dee
1 month ago

As I suspected, British Swimming decided taking Kurle was more risk than reward. My heart goes out to him, but this will drive him on with a home Commonwealth Games to come next summer. Cal Jarvis, Joe Litchfield, Max Litchfield & James Guy could get you into the final, but I suspect they’ll go with Dunks or Tom Dean instead of Max, depending on who scratches the 100.

Congrats to Laura & Lucy, massively deserved.

Jamie5678
Reply to  Dee
1 month ago

Do you think Scott will scratch the 100 free irrespective of how well he goes in the 200?

Dee
Reply to  Jamie5678
1 month ago

Yes. 200fr, 200im and relays for Duncan I think. He’s looking for medals, not 6th-8th in the final, which would more than likely be the outcome in the 100.

Niall
Reply to  Dee
1 month ago

If Max Litchfield is allowed anywhere near that relay I’d formally protest if i was Kurle. Joe would be bad enough but at worlds 2019 Max swam a 1:48.2 and nearly knocked us out of heats. If we have spare spaces on the plane and they intend in using other swimmers in those heats, Kurle should be there.

Dee
Reply to  Niall
1 month ago

They made the team, they’re good freestylers, one of them will swim heats, possibly both (although I suspect only Joe). Max’s split in 2019 reflected his poor form returning from injury – His freestyle has been much better this year. Both are capable of 1.46 splits.

The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  Niall
1 month ago

Doesn’t work like that. They can do anything they want. They won’t swim Max though becuase he hasn’t beem thr same since the injury.

maybe?
Reply to  Niall
1 month ago

Kurle is also very inconsistent, but with Max you know what you’re going to get, he has looked in really good shape so far this year and has been consistently 2+ seconds quicker so far this year in the 400IM than what he was in 2019 Worlds and should be even quicker once Tokyo comes around. Max has also had a really good 400 free at both european champs and in Glasgow and won’t be going 1:48.2 again if he swims the 4×200 heats in Tokyo. The 4×200 freestyle heats will be his last event in Tokyo and he would have had over 2 Days rest since the 400 IM final so shouldn’t be fatigued from that, I expect at… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by maybe?
Jamie5678
1 month ago

Feel a little bad for Evelyn Davis who had a very good swim in the trials. Looks like Abbie Wood will now swim heats and final of the sprint relay and it’s not obviously clear she’s capable of a better split than Davis. Was half hoping Wood might enter the 400IM but that looks unlikely now.

It’s hard too on Kurle although it’s a bit of a risk to swim Kurle and Jarvis in the heats. They really need to be cautious about who they select for the prelims – I think they only qualified 7th fastest in Gwangju and Tokyo is likely to be more competitive still.

The women’s 4×200 suffers because of the proximity of the 200… Read more »

maybe?
Reply to  Jamie5678
1 month ago

Completely agree with all the points you made.

Olympian
1 month ago

After seeing MA almost swim a 57 they can only “Hope” now… tu-dum tsss

Juggernaut
1 month ago

Kurle missing out was to be expected – Dean, Guy, Scott, Richards, Jarvis and the Litchfields are more than enough swimmers for the 4×200.

Disappointed that GBR didn’t select Hibbott, even though she missed the British consideration time I thought they might have selected her because there is still a potential 5 more swimmers that can go on the team and she has got the FINA A cut in the 400 free – Holly is probably the GB swimmer who has been affected the most from Covid.

As much as I am disappointed that Tamryn Van Selm didn’t get to make the team in the 4×200, I think GB not sending the women’s 4×200 is the right decision, they were… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Juggernaut
The unoriginal Tim
1 month ago

Typical loser selectors at British Swimming.

maybe?
Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
1 month ago

That’s who they should’ve picked, who do you think should’ve made it?

The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  maybe?
1 month ago

They should swim W4x200 where they are European Champions and take Hibbott for that plus the 400 Free. She has a FINA A cut and won trials.

maybe?
Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
1 month ago

4×200 is in the same session as womens 200 breast and 100 free semi’s so freya and Abbie either wouldn’t be able to swim it or wouldn’t be at their best if they swam it
I agree that they should’ve taken Holly for the 400 free tho

Last edited 1 month ago by maybe?
Jamie5678
1 month ago

Kurle faster than Dressel and doesn’t make the team.

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Retta Race

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