Peaty and Guy Headline Olympic Team of 26

British Swimming and the BOA confirmed today a team of 26 for the Rio Olympics. Headed by World champions James Guy and Adam Peaty, the team contains 15 men and 11 ladies. Everyone within the 2% cut off from the tough consideration times at trials has been added to the eight automatic qualifiers who made the grade in Glasgow, along with three further discretionary picks.

That all encompassing sweep of the 2% group means that nine additional individual swims were added, along with the men’s medley relay, which saw Chris Walker-Hebborn secure his spot. It also meant that both the men’s and women’s 4 x 200 freestyle relays will make the trip after speculation that the women’s squad may not be selected en bloc from the results at trials and may instead have been made up from those otherwise already selected. Instead Ellie Faulkner, Georgia Coates and Camilla Hattersley were picked on merit from their results.

So far so few surprises, but it was the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay  where most attention will be focussed. In addition to the expected selection of the four men who headed qualifying (Guy, Stephen Milne, Robbie Renwick and Duncan Scott), three more names were added to the mix in the form of Cameron Kurle, Ieuan Lloyd and Dan Wallace, being the next three home in Glasgow. Wallace probably feels a little relieved having had a terrible week by his own high standards, which seemed to have wrecked his Olympic hopes, but the selectors seem to be banking on him reclaiming his form and on his relay experience from last year’s world championship. The three discretionary picks were justified by British Swimming from, amongst other considerations, “the need to rest key athletes that have large schedules; a proven track record as a relay swimmer at major international meets and individual performances at the British Championships 2016.” This suggests that there is a plan to rest key swimmers from the heats of the 4 x 2, while Lloyd could also be used to make up a 4 x 100 free team with potentially Renwick, Scott and Ben Proud. The new rule that requires all relay only swimmers to swim probably means that all three will get an individual swim too to maximise room for manoeuvre in the relay planning.

There were no picks to provide cover for the medley relay squads, Walker-Hebborn the only addition on the men’s side and no selections at all on the women’s side, where an additional fly or breaststroke swimmer might have been expected. However the new Olympic schedule has no last day heats, thereby giving plenty of recovery time for the quartets from heats to finals and the chance therefore to swim the strongest possible teams in qualifying. The implications of all this being that the men will swim James Guy on fly for heats and finals, while the women’s likely line up is Georgia Davies, Chloe Tutton, Siobhan Marie O’Connor and Francesca Halsall. The only fly in the ointment with that strategy being the women’s 50 free heats and semis, which take place on the same day as the medley relay heats and which may see Halsall rested.

The full team

Men

Adam Peaty
Andrew Willis
Ben Proud
Cameron Kurle
Chris Walker-Hebborn
Craig Benson
Dan Wallace
Duncan Scott
Ieuan lloyd
James Guy
Max Litchfield
Robbie Renwick
Ross Murdoch
Stephen Milne
Tim Shuttleworth

Women

Aimee Willmott
Camilla Hattersley
Chloe Tutton
Eleanor Faulkner
Fran Halsall
Georgia Coates
Georgia Davies
Hannah Miley
Jazz Carlin
Molly Renshaw
Siobhan Marie O’Connor

8 thoughts on “Peaty and Guy Headline Olympic Team of 26”

  1. Surprised by the lack of medley relay cover on both sides.

    More surprised by the depth of 4x200m picks, given the new rule that all swimmers must participate. I believe Hattersley has the A-time in the 800m free so she will probably swim that rather than the 4×2 heats – I can’t see a team with her (unless we rest one of Coates / Faulkner instead of O’Connor / Miley) making the final.

    I’d imagine Ieuan Lloyd will swim the 4x100m free heats (swapped out for Guy in the even they make the final – though this seams unlikely with Lloyd over Barrett) in order to give them some leeway on the men’s side.

    1. With three and a half months until the games a lot can change and swimmers will aim to improve by then, maybe wait a while until you decide the fastest 4 women for the job..?

  2. is it possible, that with 4 infilled places [ie a maximum of 30 in the team], including 3 unused of the selectors possible 6 ‘discretionary/wildcard’ slots, that a later ‘tranche’ might be added if someone performs particularly well at, for example, the Europeans.

    I don’t now the cutoff date to submit your absolute final team to the BOA but it cant be imminent as sports like Athletics haven’t even got started!

    in this event, might I suggest there could still be way for the likes of Tancock, Pavoni and Barrett to make a late claim…

  3. They surely can’t be thinking of giving all the 200 freers a relay spot, it’s a squad of seven swimmers!
    Little or no cover on the medley relays, although (as I’ve said before); Duncan Scott could do a job on the fly leg.

  4. hi Steve…

    I agree unlikely to happen… but I do feel for Pavoni, in particular. I certainly welcome Wallace’s inclusion but it does beg the question why Pavoni wasn’t extended the same opportunity. In extremis, can a swimmer ‘appeal’ against the decision, I am pretty sure it has happened in Athletics…

    With the 4 unfilled slots wouldn’t it by a win-win approach if BS offer a very few swimmers, the chance if they achieve an exceptional time at the Europeans, it certainly would motivate and they wouldn’t be depriving anyone else

    I am all for challenging QTs, but I do think swimming might look to have a ‘period’ in which a swimmer might obtain achieve the QT and this would tie into the philosophy, which I agree with, of racing more … As I mentioned before, it must be extremely difficult to achieve a QT when there is no domestic challenge and it is essentially a time trial …

  5. If British Swimming wants the best percentage return on swimmers-to-medals, they could have simply picked a solo Adam Peaty and got a 100% return – or more!
    It is an abdication of their responsibility (to all of the stakeholders) NOT to take a full and representative team to Rio. With Roberto, Lizzie, Alys and Liam, for instance, they could have added 5 or 6 more swims and excited (potentially) thousands of swimming supporters. They might, also, have enhanced their Medley Relay prospects.
    Whole sections of the British Public are being deprived of their ‘heroes’ doing what they do best. So many of the youngsters in our sport will be disheartened by not having representation in most/all events.
    Instead, the Selectors are probably preening themselves as the hard-men of British sport. The BOA wouldn’t have complained if we’d selected a team of 40 swimmers, but our NGB has contrived to exclude some of our best athletes because (frankly) they don’t really like them much.
    Nothing else can explain the embarrassing antagonism towards Roberto Pavoni – he may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he’s the finest IM swimmer we have and he ought to be on the Olympic Team.
    Instead, we’re taking a huge array of relay swimmers, who may not even get a swim.
    I would really like Bill Furniss to chat with the media (after the Games) and explain how we managed to select a team where…
    – 2 or 3 didn’t got out of the heats, and
    – 1 or 2 didn’t even swim

    …but still he couldn’t ‘be brave’ enough to pick proven competitors who would have got into the finals and, maybe, scrambled a medal.
    I hate all this self-obsessed toughness from our selecting coaches.
    Anybody know how to start an online Pavoni petition???

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