Olympic Trials Entries Give First Clues to Paris Programmes

Entries for the British Championships closed this week, with no further chances remaining to book a slot at a meet that will double as Olympic team trials. With the doors metaphorically closed on the London Aquatic Centre, the entries that are in give the first view of what might transpire in the pool in April and by extension where people’s Olympic programmes may be heading.

While the GB selection policy as usual leaves numerous routes to getting additional swims once on the team (or indeed to get picked in the first place), and as such no events are beyond the realms of possibility for Paris, the reality is that few will end up swimming individual Olympic events they haven’t swum in London. So with that in mind here are a few things that are apparent from people’s trial programmes.

The main point of note is the absence of Freya Colbert from the 200m backstroke. That’s an event she contested at the Doha Word Championships and indeed made the final of, so it appears the clash in Paris between the final of this event and the opening rounds of the 200IM has seen the latter win out. Colbert will contest the 200m and 400m IMs along with the 100m and 200m freestyles in London.

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There is no 200 back repeat from Doha for Freya Colbert at trials

That clash in Paris is evidently not something that Katie Shanahan is concerning herself with for now though – she swims the 200 backstroke along with both medleys.

Another area of interest relates to Tom Dean and his publicly stated quest for 5 medals in Paris. While it was the working assumption that maybe 3 of those would come from relays, his entries confirm there are no new events in his sights. He swims the expected triple of the 200 freestyle and IM along with the 100 freestyle.

Other things that stand out from the confirmed entries include:

  • Dan Jervis choosing to focus on the 1500m freestyle only and will not swim the 800 freestyle. As noted above he cold still add the event if selected
  • Matt Richards unsurprisingly sticking with his core freestyle sprints and hasn’t added the 100m butterfly following his mixed medley relay outing in Doha
  • Amber Keegan entering the distance freestyle events, having fallen just short in her bid for an open water spot in Doha. Following that disappointment and her subsequent Instagram posts, it’s not clear whether this is a realistic attempt to qualify in the pool or a final appearance at this level.
  • Alicia Wilson taking what may be a final plunge with the 2021 Olympian recently confirming her withdrawal from the NCAA championships and stating she would finish her swimming career in London. She added swims in the 100m and 200m backstrokes to her programme along with her 200IM specialty as late entries. That in itself was a late change as the final draft entries had suggested she would contest the 100m breaststroke.

On balance though, perhaps the biggest surprise was the lack of surprises. For the most part everyone likely to make the team is focussed solely on their best events, which for many means just a single day of competition. Regardless it still promises to be an exciting week of racing.