LIGNANO, Italy, July 3. THE swimming portion of the European Youth Olympic Festival gets under way on Monday in Italy. The competition provides an opportunity for up-and-coming competitors to get a taste of international action. The meet is also likely to feature athletes that will one day race in an Olympic Games. The Festival is a biannual event.
Great Britain, which is coached by Graham Bassi, is sending a strong squad to the meet and is coming off a 17-medal haul from two years ago. Four years ago, David Davies put his name on the map. Now, Davies is the reigning Olympic bronze medalist in the 1,500 freestyle.
"I feel very privileged to be head coach of a very powerful Youth Olympic team," Bassi said. "They have a lot to live up to as we've performed outstandingly over the past two Festivals but I'm confident they can meet that challenge. We have a group that is about to emerge on the national and international scene, and coach Nick Juba (Hatfield) and myself are excited about working with the future of British Swimming.”
The members of the British team include: Lizzie Simmonds (Lincoln Vulcans); Ellen Gandy (Beckenham); Ceri Unwin (Hatfield); Helena Thornton (Nova Centurion); Lauren Collins (City of Birmingham); Adam Brown (Hatfield); Jonathan Cook (Nova Centurion); Michael Newell (Aquabears); Marco Loughran (Guildford City); Steven Beckerleg (Plymouth Leander); Stuart Houston (Ren 96); Chris Fox (Wolverhampton); Robert Matthews- Stroud (Wycombe District); Chloe Hart (Beckenham); Max Partridge (City of Sheffield); Grant Turner (Tigersharks).