LOUGHBOROUGH, Great Britain, June 21. FORTY athletes have been formerly selected to the British Gas GBR Swimming Team and they will finalise preparations at a holding camp in Osaka, Japan before arriving in Shanghai.
Double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington, World champion Gemma Spofforth and World Championship silver medallist Fran Halsall will lead the challenge for the women while double Commonwealth champion James Goddard and World champion Liam Tancock head-up the men's contingent.
The team also features a group of athletes who have qualified for their first senior national team. Siobhan-Marie O'Connor (British Gas ITC, Bath), Molly Renshaw (Derventio, Derbyshire), Joshua Walsh and Jak Scott (both British Gas ITC, Stirling) put themselves onto the team with impressive performances at last week's British Gas ASA Championships in Sheffield.
"After two trials I believe we have one of the most competitive British teams ever assembled," said Scott. "There will be some big challenges ahead this summer but the squad has real talent and strength, and is best placed to overcome these.
"It's a healthy mix of experienced performers on the world stage as well as a group of exciting youngsters who will be looking to establish themselves on the team.
"Any World Championships is an important event and marker but the one prior to an Olympic year is a key measure that gives us a strong indication of where we are in our journey to the London 2012 Olympics."
Scott is pleased with the progress made by British Swimming's World Class Programme.
"We are currently well positioned within the World Rankings but this fact should be tempered," explained Scott. "When we arrive in Shanghai we'll see a very strong and competitive Chinese team with home crowd advantage, and this will significantly support their results.
"We should also look at the fact there hasn't been a US trials in 2011 so we don't yet know where the world's number one nation is but you can be sure they'll be at the very top of their game.
"As usual we expect tough competition from Australia, our European counterparts and a wider selection of nations all in the hunt for podium finishes. It's going to be a challenge for our swimmers but one that they accept and relish."
The performance outcome of the British Gas GBR Swimming Team will be measured across a number of formats as British Swimming looks towards London, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Rio 2016 Olympics.
"We will of course look at medals won but we'll also measure success by the number of finalists we achieve, semi-finalists and best times posted by athletes. The overall performance of the team and progression of people are all indicators of success," said Scott.
"It's a big team as we have included a number of relay alternates in both the Freestyle and Medley relays. These World Championships have added importance as they provide a qualification opportunity for the relays for the London 2012 Olympics.
"I'm very optimistic about our performances in Shanghai. I feel very positive about our progression within world swimming and believe we are working hard to support swimmers and coaches to achieve success on the world stage."
The FINA World Championships take place in Shanghai, China between 16th – 31st July.
THE BRITISH GAS GBR SWIMMING TEAM
Adam Brown Hatfield
Simon Burnett Windsor
David Carry British Gas ITC Stockport
Ross Davenport British Gas ITC Loughborough
James Disney-May Millfield
Daniel Fogg British Gas ITC Loughborough
Kristopher Gilchrist British Gas ITC Bath
James Goddard British Gas ITC Stockport
Antony James Plymouth Leander
Michael Jamieson British Gas ITC Bath
Roberto Pavoni British Gas ITC Loughborough
Robbie Renwick City of Glasgow
Michael Rock British Gas ITC Stockport
Joseph Roebuck Loughborough University
Jak Scott British Gas ITC Stirling
Liam Tancock British Gas ITC Loughborough
Grant Turner British Gas ITC Loughborough
Chris Walker-Hebborn British Gas ITC Bath
Joshua Walsh British Gas ITC Stirling
Andrew Willis British Gas ITC Bath
Rebecca Adlington Nova Centurion
Jazmin Carlin British Gas ITC Swansea
Georgia Davies British Gas ITC Swansea
Ellen Gandy Beckenham
Francesca Halsall British Gas ITC Loughborough
Kate Haywood Loughborough University
Joanne Jackson British Gas ITC Loughborough
Jemma Lowe British Gas ITC Swansea
Siobhan-Marie O'Connor British Gas ITC Bath
Caitlin McClatchey Loughborough University
Hannah Miley Garioch
Keri-anne Payne British Gas ITC Stockport
Stephanie Proud Chester-Le-Street
Molly Renshaw Derventio
Elizabeth Simmonds British Gas ITC Loughborough
Amy Smith Loughborough University
Gemma Spofforth Portsmouth Northsea
Stacey Tadd University of Bath
Rebecca Turner City of Sheffield
Emma Wilkins Plymouth Leander
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