Adam Peaty and Duncan Scott have been included in Team GB’s 33-strong swimming squad for this summer’s Olympics.

Peaty secured his spot at Paris 2024 at the British Championships earlier this month and will be gunning for a third successive gold medal in his signature men’s 100 metres breaststroke event.

He set the fastest time for 2024 in the discipline at the British trials after a turbulent past couple of years in which he has struggled with injuries and a much-publicised battle with his mental health.

“I’m thrilled to have made my third Olympic team,” Peaty said. “It’s always amazing to be part of Team GB, but with it being so close to home in Paris this summer, and us having more home fans there supporting us, it’s even more exciting.”

Scott, who became the first Briton to win four medals at a single Games at Tokyo 2020, also booked his passage by winning the men’s 200m individual medley and finishing as runner-up to Matt Richards in the men’s 100m and 200m freestyle events in London a couple of weeks ago.

Richards aims to break Scott’s record and become the first Briton to win five medals at one Games and has been chosen, as has Tom Dean although the double Olympic champion will almost certainly not defend the men’s 200m freestyle title he won in Tokyo after failing to get a top-two spot in the British trials.

Freya Colbert and Oliver Morgan are among 10 swimmers who will make their Olympic debuts, while Freya Anderson has been selected despite missing out on automatic qualification after contracting glandular fever at the start of the year.

Team GB won a record eight medals in the pool in Tokyo, surpassing their previous best of seven from the 1908 Games.

“Team GB has a proud tradition in Olympic swimming competitions, and I am delighted to welcome all 33 athletes to the team for Paris 2024,” said Team GB chef de mission Mark England.

“The strength and depth of our pool swimming team was evident to see at the recent Aquatics GB Swimming Championships, and along with the 10 swimmers making their debut for Team GB it is fantastic to welcome back seven Olympic Champions and nine Olympic medallists.

“I have no doubt the thrilling races we saw at the British Championships last week will be equally close fought.”

The 37th Carifta Swimming Championships has come and gone, but the experience of representing one's country on one of the biggest stages in the region has left an indelible mark on the younger participants, in particular, to the point where they continue to revel in their accomplishments.

Jamaica's Kia Alert and Noland Barrett are two such swimmers, who though not new to national representation, basked in the fact that they rose to the occasion and displayed their immense potential with standout performances that assisted the country to its 45-medal tally, including 18 gold, 12 silver and 15 bronze.

The 27-member Jamaican team also placed fourth on the points standing with combined total of 559 points, behind host The Bahamas (1,096.50 points), who secured an unprecedented sixth-straight Carifta Swimming Championship victory. Cayman Islands (660 points), Trinidad and Tobago (639 points), and Barbados (486.50 points) were the other top five teams.

Alert, who competed in the girls’ 11-12 division, relished her second outing at the championship, as she earned most points for Jamaica. She copped gold in the 50m and 100m breaststroke, the 50m and 100m freestyle, as well as in the 50m butterfly, and those were complemented by silver in the 200m breaststroke and 200m individual medley (IM).

“I really felt like I was prepared enough to do really well, and I was excited just to put the hours of hard work on display, so I was really happy and proud hearing the National anthem after I won, knowing that all the hard work paid off,” Alert said.

“I also felt good about my other performances because I know I tried my hardest even on the third day when I had the 200m IM, 100m breast and 50m free, I tried my hardest and succeeded so I am really grateful that I came out healthy,” she added.

While delighted with her personal haul, Alert praised her teammates, Christanya Shirley and others, who in a consistent show of spirit and talent, also contributed significantly to Jamaica’s medal haul. That togetherness and pride she said is what swimmers count on to keep going, especially when things don’t go as expected in the pool.

“Team Jamaica’s performances deserve tremendous commendation. After a slow start, each member of the team gave their best and everyone contributed to our total points tally. For each day of the competitions there were several personal best performances seen, so even if swimmers did not medal, they did well enough to achieve PBs and that’s enough to be proud of,” Alert reasoned.

Meanwhile, the overseas-based Barrett, who had a credible outing at CCCAN last year, was making his debut at the Carifta Swimming Championships and contested finals in most of his events in the boys’ 13-14 category. He won gold in the 100m, 200m and the 400m freestyle events.

“Going into the Carifta Games I was excited to not only see my teammates I haven't seen in a while, but more importantly, to perform very well. I had a lot of fun being there and also dropping a lot of times and securing personal best, and while hearing the national anthem, I was proud that I was representing my country,” Barrett shared.

“So, I was really satisfied with my performances, I am more excited about the 400m free where I ended up dropping 11 seconds and I was really proud of how much I was able to accomplish on my first year and knowing that I have next year to do even better,” he noted.

Barrett contested the 13-14 age group alongside, Matthew Kennedy, Kai Radcliffe and others, who also produced credible performances.

Kennedy mined bronze in the 100m and 200m freestyle to go with his other top eight finishes, while Radcliffe, known for his breaststroke prowess, secured gold in the 50m and 100m breaststroke, and silver in the 200m breaststroke.

Radcliffe also flirted with the 50m breaststroke national age group record of 30.94s held by Kito Campbell, with his 30.98s-clocking.

Like Alert, Barrett, 14, pointed out that the team spirit was based on pride, passion and performance.

“I am proud of the team's performance, and I believe every athlete should be celebrated for their effort. All the coaches who prepared the swimmers for qualification and the championship should be proud of how they performed. We all stood strong, performed strong and gave out best to achieve what we did for Jamaica,” Barrett ended.

While celebrating their fairly successful outing at the recently concluded Carifta Swimming Championships, Barbados Head coach Dave Farmer believes there is still much more to be done to improve their aquatic prowess.

Farmer, who admitted that the 23-member team which travelled to the Bahamas was undersized, lauded their efforts, as they bagged 37 medals, inclusive of 15 gold, 15 silver and seven bronze. Though their tally was two medals better than it was last year, they finished one spot lower in fifth position behind powerhouses The Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.

“I thought we did a very good job. The team really performed well. We exceeded our medal count from previous years, we had 37 medals in total which is a good achievement for us, so the team performed very well, and everyone gave of their best,” Farmer told journalists moments after the team arrived home on Thursday.

“They did quite well last year, they just had two more medals this year, but the team has been working hard. Some of our swimmers have been training for this event since September, October last year. Obviously, they had competitions in between but their main goal was to perform well at Carifta.

“This means we could have a bright future but obviously it means a lot of our age group swimmers need to step up to the plate because there is a lot of work that needs to be done. We had a 23-member squad, but a full team is in excess of 36, so we are still lacking in some categories, and we need to get those gaps filled,” he added.

Barbados was led by the impressive Heidi Stoute, who broke four CARIFTA records in the girls’ 13-14 division on her way to amassing six individual gold medals, along with three relay golds and one silver. Her performance earned her the Federation international de natation (FINA) High Point Award.

Stoute said she was pleased with her accomplishments at the Championships.

“I’m very happy with my performance to bring home these medals for Barbados, not just for myself. I would like to thank everybody who is involved in getting us there…I really do appreciate it and I’m sure the whole team does. We did very well and I’m very happy with what we brought home. The competition was good, it definitely pushed me, but it was fun, and I definitely enjoyed it," Stoute shared.

The outstanding swimmer's next assignment will be the CCCAN, scheduled for June in Mexico.

 

Oliver Morgan set a new British men’s 100 metre backstroke record to qualify for the Paris Olympics as he retained his title on the second day of the British Championships in London.

The 20-year-old University of Birmingham swimmer, also defending his British 50m and 200m backstroke titles at the London Aquatics Centre, clocked 52.70 seconds to break the previous record set by Liam Tancock 15 years ago.

Morgan finished well inside the Olympic qualifying time to take gold ahead of second-placed Jonathon Marshall and Luke Greenbank.

“If you asked me two years ago if I would be in this position I’d have said there’s no way,” Morgan, who did not start competing at national level until he was 16, said of his rapid rise afterwards.

“I can’t put it into words. It proves you don’t have to be there as a youngster. I did what I enjoyed when I was young. I played football and mountain biked.”

Amelie Blocksidge retained her women’s 1500m freestyle title at the age of 14.

Blocksidge, 15 next week, finished three seconds outside her personal best in 16.13:39 and well adrift of the Olympic qualification time, ahead of Loughborough University pair Fleur Lewis and Lucie Hanquet.

Scotland’s Kara Hanlon swam a new lifetime’s best of 2:24.59 after a strong finish to win the women’s 200m breaststroke crown ahead of Somerset’s Lily Booker.

Hanlon’s fellow Scot Kathleen Dawson put her injury woes behind her by winning the 100m backstroke title in an Olympic qualifying time to seal her place for Paris.

Joshua Gammon won gold in the men’s 200m butterfly in a new personal best of 1.56:95, just outside the Olympic qualifying time, with University of Aberdeen’s Thomas Beeley taking silver.

In a message resonating with pride and admiration, Keith Joseph, President of the Caribbean Association of Olympic Committees (CANOC), has reflected on the remarkable achievements of Caribbean athletes at the recent Carifta Games in Grenada and the Carifta Aquatic Championships in the Bahamas.

Jamaica secured a 38th consecutive title at the 51st Carifta Games in Grenada winning 84 medals, 45 of them gold, while in the Bahamas, the home team won a record-extending sixth aquatics title further enhancing their reputation as kings and queens of the pool.

"We have recently celebrated the annual Easter weekend events across the world. For us in the Caribbean, we are still reflecting on the outstanding performances of our athletes at both the Carifta Athletics Championships in Grenada and the Carifta Swimming Championships in the Bahamas," the CANOC president said.

Joseph wasted no time in lauding the athletes, acknowledging their remarkable efforts and dedication. "While not all athletes would have won medals," he remarked, "scores of them have achieved personal best performances. All participating athletes are winners insofar as having gained national selection is itself a major feat and an important part of their personal and their respective country’s sporting history."

Indeed, the records shattered and the triumphs achieved at these championships were nothing short of extraordinary. Jamaica's 38th consecutive title at the Carifta Games in Grenada, along with an impressive haul of 84 medals, exemplified the caliber of talent present in the Caribbean. Similarly, the Bahamas' record-extending sixth consecutive swimming title, won in front of their passionate home crowd, showcased the region's dominance in aquatic sports.

"Records have been broken by athletes we expect will follow the long-held tradition of becoming the next generation of sporting stars of the Caribbean," Joseph enthused. "Small we may be as countries in the global environment but through sport we have competed well and blazed a trail of success consistent with our immense potential, resilience, and resolve."

Joseph extended heartfelt congratulations to all the athletes who represented their countries at these prestigious events, emphasizing the significance of their accomplishments. He also expressed gratitude to the governments and people of Grenada and the Bahamas for their unwavering support and financial commitment to the sporting spectacles.

Moreover, Joseph emphasized the importance of government involvement in facilitating the sports development process in the Caribbean. "The continued challenges of hosting major sport competitions at the Caribbean level impact the broader sport development process," he noted. "There is an important need for us to have governments play a more important role in facilitating the sport development process in the Caribbean."

 In closing, Joseph highlighted the call for Caribbean unity and collaboration in sport, as advocated by Grenada's Minister of Sport, Gayton J La Crette. He underscored CANOC's commitment to facilitating research initiatives aimed at developing a sustainable sport development strategy for the region.

"Together," Joseph concluded, "we can show the difference sport can make to our Caribbean reality."

 

 

 

 

In the heart of Nassau, at the Betty Kelly-Henning Swim Complex, history was etched into the aquamarine waters as the Bahamas achieved a feat unparalleled in the annals of CARIFTA Swimming Championships. With resounding cheers echoing through the stands, the Bahamian swimmers surged to victory, clinching their sixth consecutive title..

The stage was set for a showdown of aquatic prowess, with 25 nations from across the Caribbean vying for supremacy. Yet, from the outset, it was clear that the Bahamian team was on a mission — a mission to etch their names into the record books once more.

Led by the indomitable spirit of Head Coach Travano McPhee, the Bahamian contingent unleashed their full potential. With each stroke, each turn, they surged ahead, leaving their competitors trailing in their wake.

Day after day, the Bahamas increased its lead, leaving no doubt in anyone's mind of their dominance in the pool. From the precision of their starts to the power of their finishes, every swimmer embodied the essence of excellence, pushing themselves to their limits and beyond.

As the final day of competition dawned, the tension was palpable. Yet, amidst the nerves, there was an air of confidence among the Bahamian swimmers. They knew that this was their moment, their chance to make history once more.

And make history they did.

With a final surge of speed and determination, the Bahamas clinched their sixth consecutive CARIFTA Aquatics Championship title, sending shockwaves of celebration throughout the nation. Tears of joy mingled with the waters of the pool as the triumphant swimmers embraced, their hearts filled with pride for what they had accomplished.

In the medal standings, the Bahamas reigned supreme, topping the table with 34 gold, 39 silver, and 28 bronze for a total of 101 medals. Trinidad & Tobago followed with 24 gold, 15 silver, and 17 bronze for 56 total medals, securing second place. The Cayman Islands claimed the third spot with 18 gold, 13 silver, and 19 bronze, accumulating 50 total medals. Jamaica, with 18 gold, 12 silver, and 15 bronze, earned a total of 45 medals, securing the fourth position. Barbados rounded out the top five teams with 15 gold, 15 silver, and 7 bronze, totaling 47 medals.

Speaking to the Nassau Guardian in the aftermath of their historic win, Coach McPhee expressed his gratitude to his team and the Bahamian people. "This is our house, and we were able to hold it down," he declared, his voice ringing with emotion. "I'm proud to be a part of this team, and I'm very proud of everyone who contributed to this sixth straight win. We're not done yet... next year, we're going for seven straight."

And with that vow hanging in the air, the Bahamian swimmers basked in the glory of their triumph, knowing that they had not only made history but had also etched their names into the hearts of a nation. For in the waters of the Betty Kelly-Henning Swim Complex, the spirit of the Bahamas soared to new heights, a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and the unbreakable bond of a team united in pursuit of greatness.

 

 

 

Adam Peaty said a new relaxed mindset can serve him well after securing passage to this summer’s Paris Olympics by finishing first in his signature 100m breaststroke event on the first day of the British Championships in London.

The 29-year-old touched the wall in 57.94 seconds in the evening’s final – the fastest men’s 100m breaststroke time in the world this year and an improvement on the 59.10 seconds it took him to win bronze at February’s World Championships in Doha.

Peaty, who still holds the world record of 56.88 seconds in the event, is now set to defend his back-to-back Olympic titles after securing a nomination in the British championships, one year after pulling out of the 2023 event to begin what became an extended mental health-motivated hiatus from the sport.

Peaty said afterwards: “I’m not fully back, I’ve still got a second!

“It’s always going to be my mindset, but I’ve got a healthy approach to it. A few years ago, I’d have come out of there disappointed.

“I’ve learned to appreciate the moments of greatness for myself. For me, that was a great swim, executed well – but the most promising thing is that I’m finding peace in the water now, instead of anger and just fighting it, and trying to win like that.

“I’m finding a new version of myself which I’m really liking, and I think that’s a version that can do really well at the Olympics.”

The most direct way of securing a Paris 2024 nomination this week is to finish first in the open finals of each individual event, provided athletes clock in at or under a specific time set by the newly-rebranded Aquatics GB, though nominations are still subject to an official rubber-stamp by the British Olympic Association.

Peaty emerged from his afternoon heat with a time of 58.53, the only man of 64 entrants in the event’s heats to touch the wall in under a minute, marking another significant step on a comeback journey for the five-time Olympic medallist.

He was sidelined from the 2022 World Championships due to a foot injury and last year withdrew from the British Championships, making his competitive return in Doha.

James Wilby, who finished second to Peaty, missed the 59.45sec nomination time by an agonising 0.02 seconds but could still be one of a maximum 30 swimmers nominated by Aquatics GB following the championships’ conclusion on Sunday.

Scotland’s Keanna MacInnes, 22, punched her ticket after overtaking Laura Stephens in the women’s 200m butterfly, though Stephens – the reigning world champion in the event – also finished below the required nomination time to put herself in contention for Team GB.

Freya Colbert, 20, who claimed women’s 400m individual medley gold in Doha, finished ahead of training partner Abbie Wood in the women’s 200m freestyle to secure her nomination, while Wood’s time was also under the nomination standard.

This is the first year the British Championships combined events for both para and non-disabled athletes, and it was Poppy Maskill who emerged with the top, sub-nomination standard time in the multi-classification women’s para 200m freestyle where five athletes finished under the standard.

Bath-based Kieran Bird came close in the men’s 400m freestyle, finishing in 3:45.63 – a hair off the required 3:45.43 – but might have also done enough do impress the selectors.

The Bahamas ended day three of the 2024 Carifta Aquatics Championships at the Betty Kelly-Kenning Aquatic Centre in Nassau on Monday with a massive 309.50-point lead over their rivals in the battle for the team title.

The Bahamians currently have 804.50 points after 98 events. The top five is rounded out by the Cayman Islands (495 points), Trinidad & Tobago (466 points), Jamaica (405 points) and Barbados (362.5 points).

In terms of medals, the hosts have, so far, amassed an impressive 73 medals over three days of competition including 26 gold, 26 silver and 21 bronze.

Trinidad & Tobago are next with 17 gold, 10 silver and 14 bronze for 41 medals in total.

Cayman Islands are third with 14 gold, 10 silver and 15 bronze for 39 in total.

Barbados are fourth with 11 gold, 11 silver and six bronze for 28 in total with Jamaica fifth with 11 gold, eight silver and 12 bronze for 31 in total. Barbados are ahead of Jamaica because they have more silver medals.

One of the UK’s fastest deaf swimmers has spent more than 1,000 days campaigning against “discriminatory” policies that deny him funding.

Nathan Young, a holder of seven national records, is not entitled to any Government or National Lottery money to support his ambitions.

The reason is that UK Sport, the agency which allocates funding on behalf of those entities, is focused solely on Olympic and Paralympic sports.

As deafness on its own is not a discipline in the Paralympics, Wirral-based Young, 24, falls outside its criteria.

He is eligible to compete in the Deaflympics – the multi-sport event for deaf athletes sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee – but Great Britain does not financially back its entrants, unlike some other countries.

The only central funding available for solely deaf athletes is at grassroots level, with nothing for elite competitors such as Young.

That has left him needing to work and fundraise alongside his training to ensure he is able to meet the huge outlay needed to compete on the global stage.

For most of the last three years, he has also spent a large amount of his time running a campaign to get the parameters for funding changed, believing the current rules to be unfair.

“At the end of the day it’s discrimination,” said Young, whose campaign passed the 1,000-day mark in February.

“It’s completely isolating a whole disability. If I was a Paralympic swimmer, I would have been getting paid since I was 16 or 17. It could have been a career that I could have had.

“Right now, I train, I go to the gym but all the other things I should be getting as what you would class as an elite athlete, I don’t get any of it.

“Others have the best treatment available to them to keep them going mentally, physically and in every aspect. I should be getting physio, doing strength and conditioning but I get none of that.

“When I’m training right now, I’m thinking I should be working. It’s not what I should be thinking about.”

Young’s campaigning has involved giving numerous speeches and interviews as well as writing many letters and articles. He has also contacted MPs and, as part of a wider campaign with UK Deaf Sport, has even visited Parliament.

With UK Sport funding for recent Olympic/Paralympic cycles being around £300million, it is a source of frustration for Young that not even a relatively small amount can be found for Deaflympians.

“What we’re asking for is so little,” said Young, who might need to find around £3,000 to fund a trip to next year’s Deaflympics in Tokyo.

“UK Deaf Sport only asked for £4million for us (deaf athletes), which is so little when there’s £300-and-something million for Olympic and Paralympic sport.

“We’re getting the same responses. We keep pushing it and pushing it but it’s been over 1,000 days now and it’s been an exhausting journey.”

A UK Sport statement read: “UK Sport’s remit is specifically focused on investing in sports and athletes who are eligible to compete at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“The Deaflympics falls outside of Olympic and Paralympic sport. We are therefore unable to fund athletes targeting this event.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: “This Government is dedicated to making sport in this country accessible and inclusive for everyone, including deaf people.

“Sport England has committed £1.2million between 2022 and 2027 to boost deaf sport at the grassroots level through widening participation and supporting the development pathway for talented athletes.”

Raising an elite athlete is a financial challenge. That is something Jamaica’s swim parents know more than most, as they are stuck with the age-old burden of footing the cost to have their children represent the country.

Aside from occasional assistance from the ministry of sport and the Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica’s (ASAJ), which covers a percentage of funding to some regional meets, or even when reimbursements are to come from World Aquatics, formerly FINA, for participation at some international meets, the task of covering travel expenses often leaves parents on edge to the point where they have to choose and refuse invitations to certain events.

The idea of not competing at certain events also takes a toll on the athletes, who at different levels of their respective careers, would be eager to rub shoulders with others from across the region or elsewhere around the world as part of their development.

In fact, while all swimmers at their respective levels are talented and focused, the hard truth is that it is those with the superior training and resources –hefty financial resources –who pull away from the pack.

It is with this in mind that Annelies Denny has reiterated the call for corporate Jamaica to partner with the ASAJ and parents to ensure that the country’s next Olympian doesn’t get left behind.

Denny, who will serve as Jamaica’s team manager to the Carifta Aquatics Championships, made the appeal as parents stare down a $400,000 budget to have their child participate at this year’s 37th edition of the event in The Bahamas from March 28 to April 7.

“We know swimming is not track and field as yet. We don't have that breakout star. Alia Atkinson has now retired and so I understand that corporate Jamaica may feel where is your Olympic medal or where is your world championship medal. I do understand that, but we would really welcome the opportunity to partner with you,” Denny said in a heartfelt plea.

“Some of these kids really have the potential to not just go to the Olympics or World Championship, but to actually do really well at the (age-group) level. But it's going to take a corporation to partner with us to make that happen. What you find is because they start competing at this young age group level, what happens is by the time the swimmers are physically matured and are ready to take it to that next level, the parents are kind of all tapped out because we bear the bulk of the cost,” she told SportsMax.TV.

While declaring that parents are happy to make the financial sacrifices in certain regards, it is during the build up to, and for participation at regional and international competitions that they require assistance to offset expenses.

Denny explained that partnering with the ASAJ also presents the opportunity for exposure to the company’s brand.

“Obviously, there's a lot of nutrition to think about, there's healthcare as well as your coaching fees. A technical suit which they have to race in, it can run up to US$500 or US$600, including the goggles, equipment, all of those things. So we bear those costs on a daily and ongoing basis. It is when it comes down to competitions where you're representing your country, you're looking for that partnership because these are age group swimmers,” Denny noted.

She continued: “So after a while it becomes a great burden, and you just can't do it anymore. And so, this is where we really need some partnerships because I think there's a lot of opportunity not just for the swimmers to do well, but also to, there's opportunity for branding and publicity that is unrivaled.

“When I think of the swimmers' deck T-shirts, those that they wear on the deck or the track suits, every time they're on the podium, you see the brand. It's a source of pride for them to wear the team T-shirt and bag and if a company’s brand is on those, it means their brand is being seen several times a week by hundreds of people all the time. So that’s one avenue and we're really ramping up our social media presence so there's a lot of opportunity there and I would just love for somebody to call and say they are on board.”

That said, Denny pointed out that the parent body under the guidance of the ASAJ’s sponsorship committee used initiatives, such as a bake sale to raise funds, which is a mere drop in the bucket when the overall figure of the team is taken into account.