British Olympic Swimming Trials Cancelled, Para-Swim Intl Gone & FINA Diving World Series Postponed

Adam PEATY of Great Britain competes in the men's 50m Breaststroke Final during the LEN European Swimming Championships at Europa-Sportpark in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014. (Photo by Patrick B. Kraemer / MAGICPBK)
Adam Peaty - no Olympic Trials but the Rio 2016 100m breaststroke champion will still want to defend his crown - Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

The British Olympic Swimming Trials (London, 14-19 April) and British Para-Swimming International Meet (Sheffield, 9-12 April) have been cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. British Swmming also announced the postponement of the FINA Diving World Series – London (27-29 March) and the  British Elite Junior Diving Championships (6-9 April).

The cancellation of the British Para-Swimming International Meet also means the cancellation of two other things: the event doubled as a leg of the World Para Swimming World Series competition and also served as the British Paralympic trials. 

  • Swimming World understands that the IPC will today announce the cancellation of the next two events in the World Para Swimming World Series, namely Sheffield and  Indianapolis, scheduled for 16-18 April. The Singapore round of the series, scheduled for 1-3 May, had already been cancelled, the Berlin finale of the tour on 18-21 June still on the schedule but dependent on events as Germany goes into its first serious week of lockdown, all schools closed, as are borders, and all non-essential shops and places of mass gathering shut from tomorrow.

The federation also announced that the British Summer Championships (21-26 July) and all qualifying windows are now under review: “After consultation with our Home Nation partners, we have decided to suspend the published Qualifying Window dates and process with immediate effect. Once we have had an opportunity to assess the viability of the summer competitions and the feasibility of staging such events, we will advise the wider swimming community of the updated invite process for these Championships.”

Adam Peaty, the Olympic 100m breaststroke champion, was among the first to react, with a pragmatic response to the decisions, one that called for

“… athletes who were preparing for this meet, keep your head up! Staying positive in these times is more important than ever”

The British Swimming Statement in full:

Following dialogue with the FINA COVID-19 taskforce, the FINA Diving World Series finale, which was scheduled to take place at the London Aquatics Centre between 27th-29th March, has been postponed.

Given the latest government advice, with athlete, spectator, staff and volunteer wellbeing as the priority, and with an escalating number of international athletes and teams unable to travel, it has been decided that the event cannot take place at this current time.

British Swimming will be contacting ticket holders in due course to arrange for a transfer of tickets if and when a new date is agreed with FINA, or a refund. We understand that this will cause inconvenience and cost to fans planning to attend the FINA Diving World Series in London this month, and for this we can only apologise. We will be working with ticket holders to support them wherever possible.

Double Olympic silver medallist James Guy, who has been on a welcome return to form, said on social media:

Dave Hemmings, who coaches Molly Renshaw, Max Litchfield, James Wilby and Siobhan O’Connor among others at Loughborough, said:

Commonwealth 400IM champion Aimee Wilmott has long said that Tokyo would be her final Olympics after London 2012 and Rio 2016.

She said:

 

British Elite Junior Diving Championships (6-9 April)

 The decision has been made to postpone the British Elite Junior Diving Championships, which were due to take place in Plymouth between 6th-9th April. It is the intention of British Diving to reschedule the competition for later in the year, and athletes and ticket holders will updated in due course. The selection policy for the European Junior Championships will be reviewed in relation to this postponement.

British Swimming Championships (14-19 April) and British Para-Swimming International Meet (9-12 April)

After the latest announcement from the UK government, which advises against non-essential contact and mass gatherings of people, British Swimming can confirm that the British Swimming Championships and the British Para-Swimming International Meet (BPSIM) have been cancelled.

Both events were due to take place next month, at the London Aquatics Centre and Sheffield’s Ponds Forge respectively. Refunds will be available, with ticket holders contacted in due course.

The British Swimming Championships were set to double as the Olympic trials. In light of that, the following selection policies are under review by British Swimming’s World Class Performance Leadership Group, as per General Conditions G15 and G14.

  • 2020 Olympic Games Selection Policy
  • 2020 Olympic Games Marathon Swimming Selection Policy
  • 2020 European Championships (Pool) Selection Policy
  • 2020 European Junior Championships Selection Policy
  • 2020 FINA World Junior Open Water Championship Selection Policy

BPSIM, meanwhile, was also a World Para Swimming World Series competition and acted as the British Paralympic trial event. The relevant Paralympic selection policies are now also under review.

Further details over updates to the selection policies and the ongoing situation moving forward will be provided as soon as possible.

British Summer Championships (21-26 July)

After consultation with our Home Nation partners, we have decided to suspend the published Qualifying Window dates and process with immediate effect. Once we have had an opportunity to assess the viability of the summer competitions and the feasibility of staging such events, we will advise the wider swimming community of the updated invite process for these Championships.

Each of these decisions was made in close consultation with the Home Nations, venue providers and other partners. We acknowledge that this is an ever-changing situation, and we will continue to follow the advice of the government and public health bodies, to ensure the best scenario for everybody involved.

We at British Swimming, along with all sports organisations, are hugely saddened by the current situation.  We know how hard all of our athletes, coaches and volunteers work to keep sport going, but at the same time are very aware that the current situation transcends sport. We are all responsible for public health and we shall do everything we can to support this both during the current pandemic and on a daily basis.

Extraordinary Events In Swimming History:

Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Italy, France, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, Brazil and Japan have all had major meets affected by the coronavirus pandemic, while in the United States, the NCAA Championships have been cancelled and USA Swimming has imposed a 30-day suspension on all events, while Canada is considering what to do about its Olympic trials early next month. In Italy, where swimmers are struggling to maintain normal routines, can’t get to practice and in some cases find pool time, a #stopolympics campaign was launched by the Nuoto website calling on solidarity among swimming nations to recognise that Olympic preparations have been blown off course and that it would be in the interests of fairness to postpone the Games for a time of calm beyond the coronavirus crisis. 

Our coverage:

Guidance on Water and Coronavirus 

 

6 comments

  1. avatar
    Troyy

    And another one bites the dust.

    • Emily Brown

      Lin Tozer hard to believe they’ve taken this long given how bad it’s been there

    • Lin Tozer

      Emily Brown tes but herd immunity rules according to Boris …

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