Peaty, Anderson & Co Set For Edinburgh Against The Backdrop Of Coronavirus

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Adam Peaty - Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Sporting events around the world are being cancelled in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) but the Edinburgh International Swim Meet featuring Adam Peaty, Duncan Scott and Freya Anderson is going ahead this weekend.

Entry lists for Edinburgh include swimmers who would travel from overseas including Jeanette Ottesen, of Denmark, Fanny Lecluyse from Belgium and Jan Micka of the Czech Republic.

The Danish Olympic trials have been postponed along with China and Italy as has the Swedish Open while the South American Championships have been cancelled.

Ben Higson, the Swim Ireland senior team head coach, announced on social media that the squad – due to include former world junior 100m breaststroke champion Mona McSharry – would not travel, saying:

So too has Peaty posted on Twitter, saying:

FINA has announced  a swathe of cancellations and postponements today after a task force was formed following their proposal to impose a three-month moratorium on all aquatic events, including Olympic test events.

The NBA season has been suspended, some Champions League football matches are being played behind closed doors while La Liga in Spain has been suspended for two weeks and all sports events in Norway are off.

The Edinburgh meet, which is being held at the Royal Commonwealth Pool, would ordinarily mark another racing opportunity ahead of the British Olympic trials in April and beyond to Tokyo 2020.

However, the Games are increasingly under threat and on Wednesday the World Health Organisation announced it will soon announce its “basic thoughts” about whether they can proceed in July.

Against this backdrop, one wonders how Tokyo hopefuls worldwide approach training given the Games may well not happen.

Arno Kamminga is having a season that has rocketed him to the upper echelons of men’s breaststroke, going third all-time over 100m and second European in history in the 200m.

Swimming World spoke to the Netherlands swimmer on Wednesday and he said:

“I try not to think about it. If it happens, it happens – like everything happens for a reason but I know I have to swim fast this summer.

“That is all I want to think about, that is what the plan is, what I am preparing for and if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.

“I know I can swim fast and I know I can switch fast if I have to. Let’s see how others can handle and cope with maybe a cancellation or later in the year.”

Against this backdrop, many of those hoping to make the British team will compete in Edinburgh.

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Duncan Scott: Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Peaty will take on the 50, 100 and 200m breaststroke and in each of those races will come up against James Wilby, 2019 world 100m silver medallist as Peaty took the title, and 2014 200m Commonwealth champion Ross Murdoch.

Scott won four gold medals at last month’s McCullagh International in Bangor, Northern Ireland, where finals were held in the morning to mirror the Tokyo timeline.

The world 4×100 medley relay champion has a busy schedule appearing in the 100 and 200 free and 200IM.

The double Olympic silver medallist will also contest the 50 freestyle skins event, races which operate on a knock-out basis with the two remaining swimmers competing in a head-to-head final.

James Guy, Luke Greenbank and Dan Jervis – winner of three golds in Bangor – also compete.

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Freya Anderson – Photo Courtesy: LEN

Anderson has been on the sort of form that hinted at an exciting 2020 with three titles and a new 200 free PB of 1:56.06 at the Flanders Cup in January.

The Ellesmere Titans swimmer goes in the 50, 100 and 200 free.

Aimee Willmott starts in the 400IM, locking horns again with Hannah Miley and young prospect Katie Shanahan.

Olympic and world finalist Molly Renshaw is slated for the 100m and 200m breaststroke where she is due to meet Lecluyse with Sarah Vasey heading the 50m field.

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