British Swimming Releases Selection Policy For Tokyo Games: Peaty Among Four Pre-Selected

Adam Peaty - Olympic immortality in 57.13sec - Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

British Swimming has announced its selection policy for Tokyo 2020 which will include the pre-selection of individual medallists from the 2019 World Championships with the 2021 British Championships acting as the main consideration meet for the Great Britain team.

Adam Peaty, James Wilby, Luke Greenbank and Duncan Scott all reached the podium in Gwangju back in July 2019 and they are all assured of being part of the team – with a maximum number of 35 – that will be nominated to the British Olympic Association.

The nomination is solely to the team – not to specific events which will be decided following the trials process.

Full selection policy 

(L-R) Second placed James Wilby of Great Britain, winner Adam Peaty of Great Britain and third placed Zibei Yan of China pose with their medals after competing in the men's 100m Breaststroke Final during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 22 July 2019.

James Wilby, left, Britain teammate Adam Peaty and Yan Zibei of China – Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

Peaty won the 50 and 100br in Gwangju – although the former is not on the Olympic programme – with James Wilby second over two lengths as the pair claimed the first British one-two in history.

Greenbank and Scott both won bronze in the 200m backstroke and 200 free respectively.

The British Championships – which are being held at the London Aquatics Centre from 13-18 April – represents the main selection meet.

Swimmers will be considered for selection on the basis of their performance in the finals if they finish in the top two and record a time that equals or betters the times in the table below.

24.60 50 FREE 21.78
53.88 100 FREE 48.35
1:57.28 200 FREE 1:46.99
4:05.96 400 FREE 3:46.78
8:22.05 800 FREE 7:49.96
16:04.14 1500 FREE 14:55.91
1:00.23 100 BACKSTROKE 53.85
2:08.44 200 BACKSTROKE 1:56.90
1:06.79 100 BREASTSTROKE 59.23
2:23.37 200 BREASTSTROKE 2:09.05
57.92 100 BUTTERFLY 51.96
2:08.32 200 BUTTERFLY 1:55.45
2:11.10 200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY 1:58.32
4:36.68 400 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY 4:13.47
3:35.64 4X100 FREESTYLE RELAY 3:14.17
7:50.05 4X200 FREESTYLE RELAY 7:09.14
3:58.78 4X100 MEDLEY RELAY 3:32.70

Athletes will also be selected at Furniss’ discretion following the British Championships.

Should places remain following the April meet, then athletes have the opportunity to stake their claim at the European Championships in Budapest from 17-23 May and the Mare Nostrum series in Canet, France, and Barcelona.

Bill Furniss

Bill Furniss: Photo Courtesy: British Swimming

Should the British Championships be cancelled, then swimmers will be nominated by the British Swimming selection panel comprising Furniss, Spice, head of elite development Tim Jones and an independent selector.

Should there be a tie in the nomination of a swimmer, then Spice would have the casting vote.

A non-voting independent observer will also be present. The panel will be supported by the head of
performance services and performance solutions analyst.

In the event that one, two or three of the listed consideration meets is cancelled, the remaining designated consideration meets will still be used for consideration.

In the event that all designated consideration meets are cancelled swimmers will be nominated for selection by the British Swimming Selection Panel and will be confirmed on 8 June 2021.

Selection for the marathon swimming events remains largely unchanged with two men and two women competing at the selection meet in Fukuoka, Japan, in May.

A press release from British Swimming read:

“The policy has been developed during and in response to a pandemic that has presented some significant challenges for the swimming community in providing both preparation and competition opportunities.

“This has forced and necessitated a move away from our usual World Championship and Olympic Games selection process in these exceptional times, so as to ensure that the policy remains effective in optimising medal outcomes and is as fair as possible for athletes to achieve a nomination to the Tokyo Olympic Games.”


Photo Courtesy: Petr Kratochvil

Spice said:

“The pandemic in 2020 has brought us challenges never seen before in an Olympic year. First and foremost, the health and wellbeing of all participants – athletes, staff, officials and the general swimming public – remains our key priority as we move forward into the New Year.

“After careful deliberation and consultation with our key stakeholders, and in conjunction with our partners at the British Olympic Association, we are now able to publish our selection policy for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“Limited competition opportunities in the last 12 months and the ongoing uncertainty around preparation for the April 2021 British Championships means we have had to adjust our usual framework for selection of our Tokyo Olympic team.

“We apologise for its lateness but we felt we needed to wait until December so that we would not have to publish any amendments due to any further uncertainties surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The view of the Performance Leadership Group (PLG) was to publish once to provide as much certainty as possible for all athletes, coaches and support staff and all those that are involved in the preparations for the 2021 British Championships, which inevitably meant that we had to wait longer than usual to publish this policy.

“This has not been an easy task, however we have tried to give some certainty to a small number of high-level athletes in the event of even more national lockdowns, whilst at the same time keeping the British Championships as our main focus for our Tokyo Olympic selection.

“Coupled with these is also a recognition that many athletes have had, and are still having, interruptions to their training schedules.

“As a result we have extended the ‘selection window’ beyond the usual time of April as it is hoped more certainty will come to training environments as the months progress next year. In addition, we have also extended our usual ‘maximum’ team size to potentially accommodate more athletes.

“We thank the British swimming community for their patience and look forward to seeing you all in April at the 2021 British Championships in the iconic London Aquatics Centre.

“Our performance and events team are working around the clock to ensure it’s as safe as possible, and that it remains a great event whatever the circumstances.”

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3 years ago

So what exactly is the point of men’s 100m Breaststroke in GB this season if both spaces are pre selected?
Whilst Peaty is understandable, It’s a little u fair to any swimmer who was going 60 point or faster in 2019, your basically saying there is no faith for them to progress. Wilby was awful in the ISL (clearly unrested) but he far from the second best 100m Brs swimmer in the world now.
Even Phelps/ Lochte / Ledecky/ Thorpe had to qualify, this is a poor decision by BS and I feel for multiple athletes in GB who now must be thinking ‘what’s the point’.

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