LEN has released more details of the inaugural European Under 23 Championships which take place later this year. The new information backs up the status of the meet as a development competition but also promises to make it an exciting one, with indications that it will be presented in a less traditional manner.
The key details are:
- The meet is firmly aimed at those between the ages of 19 and 23, locking out juniors, although for this first edition, teams will be permitted to enter one younger swimmer (aged 14 to 18) in each event
- There will only be mixed relays
- Events of 800m and up, plus the 400IM will be timed finals. It’s not clear why heats were retained for the 400m freestyle.
- The meet programme includes a 50m freestyle skins event
- Swimmers who have achieved a world championships A qualifying time must swim that event at this year’s world championships if they also want to swim it in Dublin
The last of these clarifications is the one with potentially the greatest implications, and it’s not quite clear what the intent from LEN is. Given this is being pitched as a development meet, it might have made more sense to have been the other way round, so that swimmers couldn’t swim an event in Dublin they had competed in at Worlds.
So what impact does this clarification have on our hypothetical GB team? Well as it happens not that much. The putative selection hadn’t put a lower age limit on in any case so only the FINA ‘A’ time stipulation has an impact. In the table below the swimmers who would be affected based on their best times in 2022, are shown red; this group would be locked out of the relevant event in Dublin, unless they also swam the same event in Fukuoka.
|Alex Cohoon||50m Freestyle||Evelyn Davis|
|Alexander Painter||Emma Russell|
|Ed Mildred||100m Freestyle||Evelyn Davis|
|Alex Cohoon||Emma Russell|
|William Bell||200m Freestyle||Tamryn Van Selm|
|Ed Mildred||Mia Slevin|
|William Bell||400m Freestyle||Mia Slevin|
|Hector Pardoe||Tamryn Van Selm|
|Hector Pardoe||800 Freestyle||Leah Crisp|
|William Bell||Fleur Lewis|
|Hector Pardoe||1500m Freestyle||Fleur Lewis|
|William Bell||Leah Crisp|
|Seb Somerset||50 Backstroke||Lauren Cox|
|Oliver Morgan||Leah Whittaker|
|Jonathan Adam||100m Backstroke||Lauren Cox|
|Cameron Brooker||Pia Murray|
|Cameron Brooker||200m Backstroke||Katie Shanahan|
|Charlie Brown||Holly McGill|
|Archie Goodburn||50 Breaststroke||Katie Goodburn|
|Bradley Newman||Sienna Robinson|
|Archie Goodburn||100m Breaststroke||Kayla Van Der Merwe|
|Elliot Woodburn||Lily Booker|
|Harvey Freeman||200m Breaststroke||Lily Booker|
|George Smith||Yvonne Brown|
|Joshua Gammon||50 Butterfly||Sophie Yendell|
|Sebastian Rawes||Keanna MacInnes|
|Ed Mildred||100m Butterfly||Keanna MacInnes|
|Joshua Gammon||Lucy Grieve|
|Hector Pardoe||200m Butterfly||Keanna MacInnes|
|Rhys Edwards||Emily Large|
|Evan Jones||200m Individual Medley||Lily Booker|
|Kaden Edwards||Katie Shanahan|
|Kaden Edwards||400m Individual Medley||Lily Booker|
|Charlie Hutchinson||Katie Shanahan|
The issue then for these five swimmers is the gaping chasm between the FINA A time and the GB consideration times, let alone the automatic qualifying standards. If they make the plane to Japan then of course they would have the option of backing that up in Dublin, but there is a real danger of them falling into the no-man’s land where they have the A time, but don’t get picked, locking them out of this meet too. Based on 2022, that’s a particular issue for Lauren Cox and Katie Shanahan but could easily trap a few others such as Ed Mildred, Jonathan Adam, or Keanna Macinnes.
Of course we don’t yet know what GB’s plans are for this championships; there still remains the distinct possibility that no GB team will go anyway, but these latest developments add another layer of complexity in predicting who might be able to travel across the Irish Sea in August.
Banner image: Katie Shanahan by ISL/Mine Kasapoglu