London Aquatics Centre To Host British Olympic & Paralympic Trials With Integrated Programme

Tom Dean of Great Britain competes in the 200m Freestyle Men Final during the FINA Swimming Short Course World Championships at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre in Melbourne, Australia, December 18th, 2022. Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Tom Dean: Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

London Aquatics Centre To Host British Olympic & Paralympic Trials With Integrated Programme

The British Swimming Championships are returning to the London Aquatics Centre in 2024  and for the first time, the swimming and para-swimming events will fully combine in one competition as athletes look to book their place at Paris 2024.

The 2024 championships will take place at the venue at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from 2-7 April with the event playing a key role in the selection of the British Olympic and Paralympic swimming teams for the Games in July.

Olympic and Paralympic swimming event schedules will run concurrently in the same programme across six days of heats and finals sessions. The para-swimming events will be run with multi-classification competitions.

It’s the first time since 2015 that the national championships will be held at the Aquatics Centre although it staged the British Swimming Selection Trials ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.


Cameron van der Burgh: Photo Courtesy: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The venue in Stratford, east London played host to the Olympic swimming programme in 2012 and where Becky Adlington and Michael Jamieson won two bronzes and a silver respectively as Britain came away with three medals.

Eight world records were set with Sun Yang‘s 1500 free of 14:31.02 the sole mark standing today.

Cameron van der Burgh went 58.46 in the 100m breaststroke, a record that stood until 17 April 2015 when Adam Peaty became the first man inside 58secs in a time of 57.92.

Ellie Simmonds won two golds, a silver and a bronze medal at the 2012 Paralympics and it was the venue in which Alice Tai claimed seven world titles in 2019.

British Swimming Performance Director Chris Spice said:

“There are so many reasons for us to be excited to confirm this news. Firstly, combining our major domestic para-swimming and swimming competitions into one integrated finals schedule should make for an incredible spectacle, and it will be very special for us and all the supporters in attendance to see both our Paralympic and Olympic teams taking shape over the six days of the meet. The event is going to be bigger and better than ever.

“On top of that, it is always brilliant to be able to host our British Championships in London, at a pool that we know means so much to every swimmer who dives in. We are looking forward to linking up with our partners in London, LLDC [London Legacy Development Corporation] and Everyone Active, as we build towards what should be a memorable event.

“Our athletes – and the coaches and staff who work with them on a daily basis – show commitment and consistency in training day in and day out to give themselves a chance of thriving in the Paralympic or Olympic arena, and the British Swimming Championships is the absolute key time to make all of that hard work and commitment show, as we look to follow up our successes in Tokyo with even more in Paris next summer. We know every single athlete aiming to compete in London will be pushing on from now until 2nd April to be ready for that meet.”


Alice Tai: Photo Courtesy: British Swimming / Georgie Kerr Photography

Tai – with seven golds and two WRs at the Para Swimming World Championships in 2019 – added:

She said:

“I have some great memories from the London Aquatics Centre. Obviously the seven golds at World Champs in 2019 was a pretty big success for me, but also I’ve been to a couple of local competitions there with my club – the pool, as well as holding the 2012 Games, it has become quite a big part of me and my swimming. So it’s always nice to go back to such an amazing pool with amazing history.

“The more integration the better at competitions like this, it has definitely come on leaps and bounds – and the most important thing is it raises awareness of para-sport. So most importantly, it’s opening those doors for coaches and clubs to see para-swimming first-hand. Swimming is swimming, but it is slightly different in terms of the processes to get from grassroots to the elite. Hopefully we can raise more awareness. Every year, more para-swimmers turn up on poolside, so hopefully that can keep growing and growing.”

James Guy will be seeking to book a place at his third Olympics and add to his five Olympic medals.

He said:

“Having the London Olympics and Paralympics there more than 10 years ago now, it’s always a real privilege to race there. Looking back on YouTube and watching amazing, great swims, it always brings back great memories of racing there because it’s always a fast pool.

“Olympic and Paralympic year is always a bit different and a bit special. With this as the pinnacle of UK pools, I think it’s only fair to have it at the London Aquatics Centre for those trials.”


James Guy: Photo Courtesy: FINIS

Edward Fane, Head of Venues at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, said:

“We are so proud to be hosting the British Swimming Championships at the London Aquatics Centre. It’s fitting that, 10 years after this iconic London 2012 venue re-opened, it will be used as the British Swimming team prepares for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Everyone Active’s Director of Aquatics and Wellbeing, Jacqui Tillman, said:

“The British Swimming Championships hold great significance within the aquatics calendar, and we are honoured to play a pivotal role in hosting this prestigious competition next year.

“The London Aquatics Centre is a truly iconic venue with a rich history of hosting major sporting events. Witnessing the return of the British Swimming Championships to the venue is not just a milestone for us as the new operator, but a celebration of the centre’s legacy. We hope the event will be a source of inspiration for swimmers and fans of all ages and abilities.”

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