Friday, April 8, 2016

British Championships to Determine Olympic Squad

“It’s going to be an interesting and exciting week in Scotland” - British Swimming Head Coach Bill Furniss

Britain’s swimming talent will converge on Glasgow for the biggest domestic competition of the Olympic cycle as they try to secure their place on international teams for the year ahead at the British Swimming Championships 2016. 

The six-day competition, which runs from 12 – 17 April, will see athletes compete at Tollcross International Swimming Centre and follows a highly successful and record breaking 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia.

British Swimming will use the event to identify and nominate senior teams for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro as well as the European Championships in London in May.

“It’s going to be an interesting and exciting week in Scotland,” said British Swimming Head Coach Bill Furniss. “Several of the races will be very difficult to call because we have such good depth across some of the events in Great Britain – the men’s breaststroke being a great example of this.

“I’m certainly looking forward to some strong performances but from my point of view, and the athletes, the British Championships are simply a means to an end. They are just the next phase of a long and detailed preparation to perform on the day in Rio. This event is not an end itself.

“Our Championships will be a pressure event and I believe that’s a good thing. We want our athletes to experience pressure, to handle pressure and to welcome pressure as this is a pre-requisite to success.”

While Furniss is looking forward to seeing the athletes compete he is also warning that results achieved in Glasgow this month will not pre-determine the Olympic outcome in August.

“It’s important that we don’t leave Glasgow and start to compare our championship results with those on the world stage as many nations are also holding their own events at the moment,” added Furniss.

“There is nothing to be gained and everything to lose by getting involved in a virtual contest with other nations. After Glasgow we need to re-focus on Rio – that is where the competition will be fought and not before.”

Furniss is also looking forward to seeing a younger cohort of talented athletes perform in Glasgow as 2016 offers unique development opportunities for them.

The schedule of events will feature three finals – a senior final targeted at the Rio Olympics and European Championships in London, a Target Tokyo Final for potential additions to the European Championship in London and a Junior Final for those looking to qualify for the European Junior Championships in Hungary.

“We’ve got some exciting youngsters coming through the pathway and it will be interesting to see if any of these can step up to the plate for the events in Rio, London or Hungary,” said Furniss.

“As a sport we’re already preparing for the next Olympic cycle and a key addition to this strategy will be selecting emerging juniors to the senior European Championships next month in London as a unique development opportunity.”

Article courtesy of British Swimming