English Swimmers Enter Last Chance Selection Saloon

England swimmers hoping to go to the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018 enter the last chance selection saloon at the Swim England winter championships in Sheffield this week.

Fifteen swimmers have already been picked through the first two phases of selection and with a maximum team size of 32 that leaves a further 17 places up for grabs at Ponds Forge.

Olympic silver medallist Chris Walker Hebborn and fellow Rio Olympian and Gold Coast ambassador Aimee Willmott are amongst those yet to book their place, after injury and illness ravaged their competitive seasons. On full form they should both be more than capable of meeting the selection standards.

English swimmers already selected for Gold Coast 2018
  • Adam Peaty
  • James Guy
  • Ben Proud
  • Siobhan-Marie O’Connor
  • Molly Renshaw
  • Eleanor Faulkner
  • Andrew Willis
  • Max Litchfield
  • Lizzie Simmonds
  • Freya Anderson
  • Sarah Vasey
  • Luke Greenbank
  • Jocelyn Ulyett
  • Holly Hibbott
  • Emily Large

The Commonwealth Games is a great opportunity for juniors to transition to the senior ranks; a certain Adam Peaty announced his arrival on the global scene in Glasgow for example. We already know that Emily Large will make her senior international bow courtesy of her world junior title over 200m butterfly earlier this year but she’s likely to be joined by more newcomers to the senior scene. Leading those prospects is Tom Derbyshire who has already posted the selection standard over 1500 freestyle this year to head the English rankings. The ranking list linked above shows who is knocking on the selection door.

There are likely to be some events that go without direct selection though. The women’s 50 free for example has a tough QT of 24.45 and it would seem any English representation there will be via additional swims from those selected for other events. Also the relays may prove tough in some areas with the two 4×100 freestyle teams looking vulnerable.

It’s an unusual time of year to be picking a team; it probably hasn’t happened since the Games were last in Australia in 2006 which opens up the prospect of some intriguing racing this week.