Loughborough trio set for Abu Dhabi challenge
THREE Loughborough swimmers have been selected as part of a 13-strong team of British swimmers competing at December’s World Short Course Championships in Abu Dhabi.
In the first international racing for a GB squad since Tokyo 2020 - when Team GB’s swimmers amassed a record-breaking eight medals, including four golds - athletes from around the world will compete over a busy 25m programme at the Etihad Arena in the United Arab Emirates’ Yas Bay, from December 16-21.
European champions Molly Renshaw, Abbie Wood and Euro medallist Max Litchfield will join double Olympic champion Tom Dean, Duncan Scott - the most decorated British Olympian ever at a single Games – and first-time Olympic gold winners Freya Anderson and Matthew Richards who are also part of the squad.
When Glasgow hosted the European Short Course Championships in December 2019, Britain won a tally of 11 medals: three gold, four silver and four bronze. Like that meet, this World Short Course event will be a priceless race arena opportunity for the athletes involved as they begin building towards a packed longcourse calendar in 2022.
British Swimming National Performance Director Chris Spice said: “There have been so many incredible performances from our swimmers in 2021, and this World Short Course Championships will be a final opportunity in the year for them to test themselves against the world’s best.
“The short-course nature of the meet provides unique chances for the athletes to fine-tune certain race techniques and skills as we gear up for what will be a nonstop year in 2022, with World Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games.
“It will also be good for this tight-knit team to come together again. One highlight of our Tokyo experience was how close the entire team were, helping each other throughout the Games - and meets like this one in Abu Dhabi play their part in building those vital bonds.”
European champion Abbie Wood added: “I’m really excited to get back racing on a big, international stage off the back of Tokyo with this team. Hopefully it will be a good kickstart to the new, busy season.”