Following the trials that took place at the British Championships in Glasgow last week, the expectation was a relatively small team would make the trip to Korea later this year for the world championships. Instead Bill Furniss and Chris Spice have delivered a bit of a surprise in naming a team of 25 for Gwangju.
No shocks amongst the five swimmers who posted automatic qualifying times with Duncan Scott, Max Litchfield, Adam Peaty, James Wilby and Daniel Jervis all selected along with the nine who posted consideration times. That means spots for Ben Proud , Ross Murdoch, Alys Thomas, Molly Renshaw, Freya Anderson, Luke Greenbank, James Guy, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Aimee Willmott.
Thomas Dean and Calum Jarvis have also been added to make up the men’s 4×200 freestyle team which also was well inside the required standard as a quartet. Georgia Davies is given a reprieve after having been off colour in Glasgow. Her selection allows the women’s medley relay to swim while also providing flexibility for the make up of the mixed medley team – it seems to have been this team that got her the direct nod.
So far, so much as expected. But this is where things get interesting. The selection policy allowed 8 wild cards (or discretionary picks) to be added, so with 17 swimmers named directly Spice and Furniss have filled their allocation.
And so, to the extra picks. Laura Stephens has been rewarded for a huge step forwards in the 200m butterfly, while Anna Hopkin is given the chance to maintain the momentum she has generated off her first NCAA season which pushed her to the brink of the 53 point range in the 100 free.
Cameron Kurle is in to provide cover for the 4×200 freestyle relay reprising the role he fulfilled in Rio, while Holly Hibbott is given a chance to build on the promise she showed at last year’s Europeans with selection.
More out of left field are the selections of Georgia Coates , Jessica Fullalove, Scott McLay and Nick Pyle. For Coates the implication is that there is an intention to swim a women’s 4×200 freestyle relay with Alys Thomas, Freya Anderson, Siobhan Marie-O’Connor and Holly Hibott already in the mix. For Pyle and Mclay it would appear the selectors have an eye on building depth ahead of Tokyo, perhaps for the medley relay, while Fullalove has been rewarded for her trials victory over 200m backstroke.
Adam Peaty, England, National Centre Loughborough
Dan Jervis, Wales, Swansea University
Max Litchfield, England, National Centre Loughborough
Duncan Scott, Scotland, University of Stirling
James Wilby, England, National Centre Loughborough
Ben Proud, England, Plymouth Leander
Ross Murdoch, Scotland, University of Stirling
Luke Greenbank, England, National Centre Loughborough
James Guy, England, National Centre Bath
Georgia Davies, Wales, Loughborough University
Alys Thomas, Wales, Swansea University
Molly Renshaw, England, National Centre Loughborough
Freya Anderson, England, Ellesmere College
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, England, National Centre Bath
Aimee Willmott, England, University of Stirling
Tom Dean, England, National Centre Bath
Calum Jarvis, Wales, National Centre Bath
Cameron Kurle, England, National Centre Bath
Nick Pyle, England, Newcastle
Holly Hibbott, England, Stockport Metro
Georgia Coates, England, National Centre Bath
Scott McLay, Scotland, University of Stirling
Jess Fullalove, England, National Centre Bath
Anna Hopkin, England, Ealing
Laura Stephens, England, Plymouth Leander