To Russia with Love – GB Selection Tracker

Trials for the World Championships are underway in London. As events unfold we’ll be keeping tabs on how the team shapes up based on the British selection policy.

Note this is only our interpretation of how the policy will be applied. Beyond those who make the qualifying times of right, selection is not a hard and fast rule and subject to selector decisions. The final team selected may hence differ for a variety of reasons and is due to be announced on 24th April.

DAY 3 UPDATE: It was reported on Swimvortex that there may be flexibility in the selection process. In the context of the men’s 200IM results, they write that “The cut of 2% suggests that [Dan] Wallace may not get the swim but some close to selector source believe that flexibility is in the works for those who tick a team box somewhere”. Whether that means that British Swimming will relax their stated cut off remains to be seen, and there is an “exceptional circumstances” provison that would allow them to do so, but certainly the policy allows anyone selected to be offered additional swims where spaces remain. In the case of Dan Wallace, he’s in with a good chance in the 400IM and successful qualification there would give him the opportunity of a swim in the shorter medley if he were on the plane to Russia.

Lizzie Simmonds secured her place at her 4th World Champoionships onm the final night’s competition in London.

WORLD RECORD: Adam Peaty celebrates smashing the 100m Breaststroke World Record as he secured his second individual berth at the World Championships

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor was the sole swimmer to guarantee selection on the third day in London, winning the 200Im in a world leading time.

Roberto Pavoni fought back from his funding cut to secure automatic qualification in the 200IM on Day 2

Chris Walker-Hebborn booked his spot on the plane to Kazan with a world leading 52.88 in the 100m Backstroke

17 thoughts on “To Russia with Love – GB Selection Tracker”

  1. Hi Steve
    Phenomenal stats analysis, again, thanks.
    What do you think of it so far? Is this where British Swimming will have wanted to be, do you think?
    The number of straight qualifiers seems a bit disappointing to me.

    1. Cheers Will.

      When you look at last year’s rankings I think the events that don’t have confirmed qualifiers are ones where that was always likely. Where I think BS may be a little disappointed is the relatively small number of people making the 2% cut off – it would have been reasonable to have expected a few more of those I think.

  2. It does say in the policy
    “3.3 VII Athletes outside 2% of the published times in Table 2 (faster times) will not be considered for selection except in exceptional circumstances as determined by the NPD in his complete discretion”

    So clearly there is some wriggle room

    1. Indeed there is Graham (and I have amended above to reflect that); I started with the premise, based on last year, that there would be no need to invoke any exceptional circumstances provisions. I wonder if having a small team would fall into that category…

  3. Only 6 swimmers have auto qualified for World Champs so far, 3 are Dave McNultys swimmers from Bath. Is Bath taking over Loughborough as the premier swimming training centre.

    1. Dave has certainly done a great job (and in difficult circumstances recently) but it’s probably a bit early to draw any firm conclusions about the programmes

  4. Hi Steve, if the emphasis is on outright performance and where money is tight, what makes you think BS will be selecting 3 or 4 relay teams where the squad times are slower than required and where only 1 or 2 made it through by rights in individual events ?!
    Good work again !

    1. Thanks Tim!

      The way the policy is written (or at least my interpretation thereof) relay teams are ranked against the consideration times in the same way as individuals and compared directly. There are no automatic QTs. All of the quartets so far decided have been within 2% of the consideration time so all are eligible for selection.

      Given qualification for Rio is at stake I can’t see GB not sending a full complement even if it means using wildcard picks, but that’s just my opinion.

  5. Steve

    Brilliant analysis – and much appreciated by all of us who had no idea how to interpret the selection policies.

    Hope you are able to reflect on the final choices of who goes to Kazan (and, possibly, where some of the non-selected swimmers go from here). I have a horrible feeling there are going to be some very disgruntled athletes and support teams unless the choices are seen to be fair (e.g. in strict percentage achievement order).

    I hope British Swimming learn, very quickly, the lessons of an ill-conceived selection system. I’d almost have more respect for them if they’d stuck to their guns and didn’t now plan to contrive a full team after a meet that can hardly have met their lofty expectations. I would love to be in the selection meeting ;-).

    Watch this space !

  6. Will Smith – What exactly do you think our swimmers had to do to meet your expectations and those of BS? Adam Peaty WR and ranked 1st in world in both 100 and 200 IM, Siobhain O’Connor first in world in 200 IM, Hannah Miley and Aimee Wilmott 1st and 2nd in the world 400 IM, James Guy on a huge 3.44 in 400 IM, Roberto Pavoni 3rd in 200 IM with a huge pb and 0.03 away from Goddard’s textile record, Dan Wallace 3rd in 400 IM, Lizzie Simmonds 2.08 in 200 Back. Jaz Carlin 4.03 in 400 free. I could name several more and for sure I have forgotten quite a few… Compare all this to other Trials like Oz, Italy and all other nations apart from Japan. You will see that IF our swimmers repeat their performances in Kazan, they will certainly be no back numbers. That IF however is huge. And yes, the Americans are pre-selected and we are talking about Ledeckie, Lochte, Clary etc. but you can’t go from bottom to top in one go.

  7. Hi MP

    Entirely agree with your sentiment on the positive performances from the meet, but British Swimming’s minimum expectation (surely) will have been that the majority of their Podium Funded swimmers can perform to the level of top six in the world 18 months out from their target meet – at least that’s the story of the tough system they’ve continually trailed. If it were a football club, half the crowd would be screaming for the coach to be sacked. I think the swimmers have done brilliantly – and are typically maverick as GB will always be.

    Because of the manner in which they’ve set this particular bar, the NGB ought to be withdrawing funding from at least 6 or 7 of the funded athletes from last year. Ridiculous – and not a good medium-term strategy for our sport. By rights, only 6 funded swimmers have guaranteed their places and the possibility of future funding! When you’ve been threatened with support/funding withdrawal unless you make teams, hit targets, etc., you’re probably too terrified to swim your best time.

    My expectation is not aligned with British Swimming’s – I recommend taking the maximum number of swimmers to every World meet – if necessary funded by cuts in expenditure at Head Office.

  8. Hi Will,
    Two of the automatic qualifiers have done it with zero funding and zero support. That is the sad situation we are in. They get ZERO, ZILCH. They even pay for training camps…

  9. hi MP

    I know – and there may well be more like them next year, given the obsession with this year’s target meet and everything standing or falling by it.

    I wish all the selector’s had the same threat over their careers as our swimmers do. I’m sure we’d have a very balanced and sensibly structured funding and selection system all of a sudden.

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