LONDON, England, May 28. THE British Swimming Team, powered by British Gas, has been selected for this summer's LEN European Championships.
Included on the team sheet are double Olympic Champion Rebecca Adlington and World Champions Gemma Spofforth and Liam Tancock who will spearhead the British challenge.
The 35-strong team face seven days of fierce European rivalry in Budapest from 9th to 15th August as they work towards their main performance goal of 2010 – the Commonwealth Games in October.
Competition in Hungary promises to be strong with the European Championships being the priority event of 2010 for the majority of nations and athletes including World Champions Federica Pellegrini (Italy), Britta Steffen (Germany) and Paul Biedermann (Germany).
For British Swimming Head Coach Dennis Pursley the challenge faced by Britain's swimmers in Europe will assist with rigorous preparations for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
"The European Championships will be a high priority competition for British Swimming and are very important to our goals for the year," said Pursley. "The approach won't be the same as it would be for a peak performance competition as we will continue training throughout with our focus on the Commonwealth Games.
"For Britain, the European Championships offer a vital opportunity to really work on our competition skills, our focus and mental toughness, and race against some of the best in the world even though we may not been in the same state of preparation that they will be.
Despite Britain's approach to the European Championships Pursley still has a high expectation of the British squad.
"Budapest will possibly be even stronger in terms of competition in a lot of events than the Commonwealth Games. We will be sending most of our best swimmers to Hungary where we want to be swimming tough and do the best we possibly can under the circumstances," said Pursley.
The announcement of the British Swimming Team, powered by British Gas, follows a two-week warm weather training camp in Mallorca where members of the national squad trained together, accessed different world class coaches and thorough performance analysis was carried out by a team of sport scientists.
For Double Olympic Champion Rebecca Adlington the opportunity to train as part of the squad at an open air 50m pool is invaluable to achieving her goals for 2010.
"The camp in Mallorca has been great preparation for me and the squad," said Adlington. "I am training long course (50m) everyday where as at home I train short course (25m) and do one long course session.
"These opportunities help us to develop the vital team dynamic you need when facing a European or Commonwealth challenge and personally I am feeling really good in the pool because I've completed a big block of preparation. Two weeks of long course training makes a massive difference.
"The main focus this year is the Commonwealth Games so the Europeans is going to be tough especially as there are so many great swimmers in my events who will be fully rested. I won't really taper down my training to prepare, I will probably cut back the week before and just do lighter work as my full taper will be ahead of the Commonwealth Games."
The British Swimming team, powered by British Gas, comprises:
Rebecca Adlington – Nova Centurion
Achieng Ajulu-Bushell – Plymouth Leander
Jazmin Carlin – British Gas ITC Swansea
Lucy Ellis – British Gas ITC Stirling
Ellen Gandy – Beckenham
Fran Halsall – British Gas ITC Loughborough
Kate Haywood – British Gas ITC Loughborough
Joanne Jackson – British Gas ITC Loughborough
Jemma Lowe – Stockton ASC
Sasha Matthews – Nova Centurion
Hannah Miley – Garioch
Elizabeth Simmonds – British Gas ITC Loughborough
Amy Smith – Loughborough University
Gemma Spofforth – Portsmouth Northsea
Jessica Sylvester – Nova Centurion
Stacey Tadd – University of Bath
Aimee Willmott – Middlesbrough
Katherine Wyld – Nova Centurion
Tom Allen – British Gas ITC Swansea
Robert Bale – British Gas ITC Loughborough
Adam Brown – Hatfield
Simon Burnett – Windsor
David Carry – British Gas ITC Stockport
Ross Davenport – British Gas ITC Loughborough
James Goddard – British Gas ITC Stockport
Kris Gilchrist – Edinburgh University
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
Joe Roebuck – Loughborough University
Liam Tancock – British Gas ITC Loughborough
Grant Turner – British Gas ITC Loughborough
Richard Webb – University of Bath