Tokyo Olympic Games Swimming selections
- Nofio, Plymio, Nofio Artistig, Polo Dŵr, Addysg
- National, Performance
Following on from the highly successful British Swimming Selection Trials held at the London Aquatics Centre, Swim Wales are delighted to report that 6 Welsh Swimmers have gained selection to represent Team GB at the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer. This will be a record representation by Welsh swimmers at an Olympic Games and all 6 swimmers, who are members of the Swim Wales Senior Elite Squad, will be making their Olympic debut in Tokyo.
After missing out on selection in 2016, 2018 Commonwealth Champion Alys Thomas (Swansea University) has gained selection after winning the 200m butterfly in London under the Olympic consideration standard (2:08.09). Alys has previously represented Great Britain at World and European level, but Tokyo will be her first outing at an Olympic Games. She will be joined in Tokyo by Swim Wales National High Performance Centre training partners Harriet Jones (City of Cardiff) and Daniel Jervis (Swansea University).
Harriet Jones produced a huge personal best on day one in London to win the 100m butterfly in 57.79s and achieve the Olympic consideration standard. Harriet represented Wales on the Gold Coast in 2018 but to this point has not represented Great Britain meaning 2021 will be the year she not only makes her Olympic debut but also her British debut.
2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Dan Jervis was the winner of both the 800m and 1500m freestyle at the Selection Trials, however had to wait until the final day of competition to achieve the nomination standard in the gruelling 1500m freestyle (14:51.49s) after agonisingly missing out by just 0.37s in the 800m.
The Swim Wales High Performance Centre based trio will be joined on the Olympic Team by Bath National Centre based swimmers Matthew Richards, Kieran Bird and Calum Jarvis.
18 year old Matt Richards posted two Welsh Senior records and two Olympic consideration standards in London in coming second and third respectively in the 100m freestyle (48.23s) and 200m freestyle (1:45.77) against world class opposition. Matt will now make his senior international debut after representing Great Britain at the 2019 European Junior Championships where he was the gold medallist in the 100m freestyle.
Kieran Bird produced perhaps the shock of the selection trials to not only win the 400m freestyle but also set an Olympic consideration standard in the process. His winning time of 3:46.00 took almost 5 seconds off his personal best time and followed up by placing second just behind Welsh compatriot Daniel Jervis in the 800m freestyle where he set another huge personal best time to narrowly miss out on another Olympic consideration standard.
The strength of the Selection Trials was epitomised in the men’s 200m freestyle final on the last evening of competition where the top 5 swimmers all achieved the individual Olympic consideration standard. 2014 Commonwealth Games medallist Calum Jarvis produced a new personal best (1:46.47) to place 5th and finally achieved his lifelong dream of Olympic selection as part of the 4 x 200m relay squad after being a consistent member of the British Team for many years at European and World level.
Responding to the selection news, Swim Wales National Performance Director Ross Nicholas said:
‘We are delighted to see such an outstanding representation from Welsh Swimmers on the GB Olympic Team for Tokyo. We are all incredibly proud of their performances at the Selection Trials in London and I would like to congratulate them, their coaches and their support teams on this incredible achievement. Representing Great Britain at an Olympic Games is the pinnacle for any British swimmer and we look forward to supporting their preparation over the coming months in the lead up to the Olympic Games. The last 12 months has been the most challenging year that we have faced as a sport and I hope the performances and selection of Alys, Dan, Harriet, Matt, Kieran and Calum will provide inspiration to all of the swimmers and clubs across Wales as they look to return to pool training over the coming weeks. ’
Swim Wales CEO, Fergus Feeney commented:
‘This is a truly outstanding achievement by the swimmers. I wish to congratulate them on their selection and wish them all the very best for the Olympic Games this summer. I would also like to recognise the incredible contribution of the coaches and sports science teams that have supported these athletes along their journey from their club environments as developing athletes through to the high performance teams they now work with. Llongyfarchiadau, da iawn chi!'