SWANSEA, Wales, June 24. A pair of reigning champions and a newly-minted record-holder will lead the British contingent at next month’s World Championships in Montreal. British Swimming has announced an 18-member squad for the 11th edition of the long-course competition. It is a team that Great Britain hopes will improve on last summer’s poor showing at the Athens Olympics.
Katy Sexton and James Gibson are the individuals who will try to defend crowns during the eight-day swimming portion of the event. Two years ago, Sexton won gold in the 200-meter backstroke in Barcelona. Meanwhile, Gibson will defend his world title in the 50 breaststroke. Last summer, Great Britain managed just two medals in Athens.
"The World Championship team is a strong, focused group which has addressed world-class standards in making the squad and I have high expectations for the team," said Bill Sweetenham, the National Performance Director. "Their preparation has been very good and I look forward to swimming the World Championships with this group of very determined, talented and well-deserving individuals."
Sweetenham installed difficult qualifying standards for the British swimmers, as he required athletes to swim equal to or faster than the 10th-fastest performance in the world. Consequently, those who have earned a place on the squad will be expected to contend for podium positions, or – at the very least – advance to the championship final.
Caitlin McClatchey is certainly a swimmer with high hopes for Montreal, as she broke a 19-year-old British record last week in the 400 freestyle, thanks to a clocking of 4:07.02. David Davies and Mel Marshall are also major medal hopes, as Davies is coming off an Olympic bronze medal in the 1,500 free. As for Marshall, she owns the second-fastest time in the world this year in the 200 freestyle (1:58.25).
Here are the members of the British World Championship Team. Seven of the swimmers represent Loughborough University and are coached by Ben Titley.
Name, Club, Current Coach
Darren Mew, University of Bath, Dave Lyles
David Davies, City of Cardiff, Dave Haller
James Gibson, Loughborough University, Ben Titley
Liam Tancock, Loughborough University, Ben Titley
James Goddard, Stockport Metro, Sean Kelly
Gregor Tait, City of Cardiff, Dave Haller
David Carry, City of Aberdeen, Ian Turner
Chris Cook, City of Newcastle, Ian Oliver
Name, Club, Current Coach
Kate Haywood, Loughborough University, Ben Titley
Caitlin McClatchey, Loughborough University, Ben Titley
Kirsty Balfour, City of Edinburgh, Frederic Vergouix
Rebecca Cooke, City of Glasgow, Stephen Hill
Melanie Marshall, Loughborough University, Ben Titley
Joanne Jackson, Durham Aquatics, Dave McNulty
Julia Beckett, Loughborough University, Ben Titley
Gemma Spofforth, Portsmouth Northsea, Graham Wardell
Rosalind Brett, Loughborough University, Ben Titley
Katy Sexton, Portsmouth Northsea, Graham Wardell