British Swimming Championships To Go Ahead With Selection Trials With Focus On Tokyo


The 2021 British Swimming Championships will go ahead in April as the British Swimming Selection Trials with reduced numbers and a focus on senior selection to international competition including the Tokyo Olympic Games and the European Championships.

The announcement followed the roadmap unveiled by Boris Johnson on 22 February which is a four-stage route out of lockdown in England.

The meet at the London Aquatics Centre has been reduced in length by one day and will run from Wednesday 14 to Sunday 18 April with the junior-specific element removed and numbers limited.

No date or host city has been announced for the World Junior Championships while the European junior showcase is scheduled for 6-11 July but no host has been announced.

Only Olympic events will be contested while the 800 and 1500 frees will be heat declared winners.

Adam Peaty, Luke Greenbank, James Wilby and Duncan Scott have all been pre-selected to Team GB for Tokyo.


Photo Courtesy: British Swimming

A press release from British Swimming read:

“Due to the ongoing COVID restrictions, continued uncertainty around the exact timetable of easing of lockdown, and in recognition that relatively few swimmers are back in training, the meet has been scaled back, with the ultimate focus being senior selections for international competition later this year.

“We have also removed the junior-specific element of the Trials, given the overwhelming majority of young swimmers have not been able to train for the best part of the last 12 months, that there has been no announcement from LEN or FINA around dates and venues for the 2021 European Junior or World Junior Championships, school term dates around the Easter period are still fluid and variable, and our ability to reasonably select any junior representative teams has been severely compromised.

“That being said, this will not exclude junior swimmers from entering the event – but there will be no dedicated Junior or Transition finals.

“For younger athletes, our primary concern now is to continue planning to facilitate a series of ‘restart’ meets to give as many athletes as possible an opportunity to return to racing through the summer.

“Significant discussions have already taken place with our Home Nation partners to provide opportunities that the whole of the swimming fraternity can buy into in July – this is likely to focus on a more regionalised ‘festival of swimming’ rather than a single performance-focused event.

“The meet conditions for the 2021 British Swimming Selection Trials below outline the new format of the event, but other key changes include removing all non-Olympic events.

“Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 protocols and the limit on the number of personnel allowed in the building, we will almost certainly need to cap the number of entries we accept; this could result in swimmers achieving a qualifying time not being admitted to the meet.

“On the new event format, British Swimming Performance Director Chris Spice, commented:

British Swimming

Photo Courtesy: British Swimming

“’Naturally we are disappointed to have to scale the meet back, especially given that 12 months ago we were planning to deliver the biggest and best British Swimming Championships in history.

“‘No-one will be more disappointed than the swimmers who are missing out and have been out of the water for so long. We share your frustrations but unfortunately we have to work within ongoing DCMS Guidelines, which will be still be in place for April.

“‘As a result, all accommodation for this event will be managed centrally and an ‘accommodation bubble’ will be created.

“’We are still working hard with the London Aquatics Centre staff on how we will manage this meet in the new restricted format.

“‘As soon as we know more, we will advise further around athlete and staff movement, accommodation ‘bubbles’, travel guidelines and the like.

“’That being said, we are pleased to confirm that we are well on the way to finalising a series of restart competitions for the summer, once restrictions have been eased further.

“‘However, in the short term, we must continue to prepare for the Olympic Games and these selection trials continue to form a key part of our journey to Tokyo.’”

An updated timetable and event conditions can be found here.


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