SWANSEA, Wales, November 30. A number of the top swimmers from England, Wales and Scotland will be in action this weekend at the Welsh ASA Winter Meet, scheduled for the Wales National Pool. The competition will serve as a final qualifying opportunity for English and Welsh swimmers seeking to compete at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. The Scottish swimmers, meanwhile, will be fine-tuning for the Games.
One of the top names set to race is James Gibson, a breaststroke standout and former world champion in the 50 breast. Gibson will swim the 50 and 100 breast events in an attempt to meet the qualifying times set forth to represent England. Aside from winning gold at the 2003 World Championships in the 50 breast, Gibson earned bronze at that meet in the 100 breast.
"I feel in great shape ahead of Swansea," said Gibson, who trains at Loughborough. "My aim is to obviously get the A qualification time in both the 50 and 100 breaststroke events and my training has been totally geared to swimming fast at this meet. I achieved the B qualification time in August but felt it wasn't good enough. Therefore I'll be looking to improve to ensure I represent my country at next year's Commonwealth Games."
Next year’s Commonwealth Games are expected to be stacked with talent, as the Australian contingent is likely to be headed by Ian Thorpe, Leisel Jones and Lisbeth Lenton. Meanwhile, Roland Schoeman will be the headliner from South Africa and Brittany Reimer is expected to carry the banner for Canada.