History Is Made As Alice Dearing And Hector Pardoe Are Confirmed On Team GB

Alice Dearing: Photo Courtesy: Chloe Knott/SWpix.com

Alice Dearing and Hector Pardoe will make their Olympic debuts in the marathon swimming at Tokyo 2020 as the pair became the final aquatics athletes selected by the British Olympic Association (BOA) for the Games.

Dearing made history last Saturday when she was fourth at the open water qualifier in Setubal, Portugal, to become the first black woman to swim for Britain at the Olympics and only the second overall after Achieng Ajulu-Bushell who competed at the 2010 European Championships and Commonwealth Games.

Alice Dearing

Alice Dearing: Photo Courtesy: Team GB

The 24-year-old, who is coached by Andi Manley at Loughborough University, said:

“I’m so excited and honoured to be on the Tokyo 2020 Team GB squad.

“Achieving this is beyond my dreams and I’m so thrilled to be representing GB on the highest stage of my sport.”

Pardoe, who is coached by Philippe Lucas at Montpellier, won the men’s event last Sunday to book his spot and the pair now join 30 pool swimmers, 12 divers and artistic swimmers Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe on the plane to Tokyo.

Pardoe said:

“The feeling of qualifying for my first Olympics is even more incredible than I ever envisioned it being.”

The women’s race is scheduled to take place at the Odaiba Marine Park on Wednesday 4 August, with the men’s event the following day.

Hector Pardoe

Hector Pardoe: Photo Courtesy: FINA

Team GB Chef de Mission Mark England said:

“I’d like to congratulate Alice and Hector on their selection and am pleased to see a really strong swimming squad finalised for the Tokyo Games.

“Both athletes put in confident performances at their qualifier in Portugal recently, especially Hector’s first place finish. Both athletes should feel very proud of making it to their debut Games and their performances this season will put them in good stead for competition in Tokyo.

“Today also marks a significant moment in British Olympic history as Alice becomes the first black female swimmer to compete for Team GB, something she should feel proud of and is an important moment in the 125-year history of British Olympians going to the Games.”

British Swimming Marathon Swimming Lead Bernie Dietzig added:

“They have both done a superb job of qualifying for Tokyo 2020.

“Alice’s fourth place in Portugal was a really strong finish in a really strong field, while Hector delivered the perfect race in his event.

“They have both done a superb job and we now look forward to seeing them compete on the Olympic stage.”


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