LOUGHBOROUGH, England, December 7. THE repercussions from the independent panel's review of British Swimming continued today, as the organization announced a shift of its world championships selection meet from March to June.
British Swimming has been holding their nationals in March for many years, often producing top times that become standards for the remainder of the year. That was the case at this year's Olympic Trials, where Great Britain blasted through the meet with some of the world's No. 1 times through spring and early summer.
In the London 2012 Performance Debrief released Sunday, one of the recommendations by the panel included the need to “secure changes to the timing and format of the selection trials, and the implications of these changes are understood and planned for accordingly.” The report does not give any guidance on when the meet should be held.
Moving the meet to June radically changes how Great Britain will select its team for the 2013 world championships. Often, British Swimming picks the bulk of the team at the March nationals, then gives swimmers who didn't make it there another chance at the summer nationals. This move means British Swimming is only offering one opportunity for selection to their major international teams.
The nationals will be held June 26-30 in Sheffield, exactly one month from the start of the long course world championships and during the same week as the USA world championship selection meet. British Swimming will still hold a major meet in March, but it will now be named the British Gas Open Meet, and foreigners will be invited to compete and swim in finals next to Britain's top swimmers who will use the meet as prep for the June selection meet. The British roster for the European Junior Championships and the European Youth Olympic Festival will be picked from the British Gas Open.
The only hitch to the scheduling change is the conflict with Scotland's nationals, which is usually held in June but has not been confirmed for 2013. The British championships will feature many swimmers from Scotland who want to compete internationally under the British flag, including Olympic finalist Hannah Miley.