Fukuoka Swimming Pool (Getty)

British athletes ready for World Champs action in Fukuoka

13 Jul 2023

British Swimming’s athletes are beginning to touch down in Fukuoka ahead of the 2023 World Aquatics Championships, with the action getting underway on 14th July.

Both diving and artistic swimming lead British contingent out in Japan on the first day, with the diving pool at the Fukuoka Prefectural Pool playing host to the 1m Springboard prelims, which will feature Jordan Houlden in the men’s event. Jack Laugher and Anthony Harding then team up for the Men’s 3m Synchro on day two as they try to build on the silver medal they won at last year’s competition in Budapest, before European champions Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix and Lois Toulson look to improve on the world stage in the Women’s 10m Synchro event on day three.

Other medal opportunities for the week on the boards come from Matty Lee and Noah Williams in the Men’s 10m Synchro (17th July), Spendolini-Sirieix and Toulson’s individual efforts in the Women’s 10m Platform (18th and 19th July), and Kyle Kothari’s 10m Platform effort – alongside his domestic teammate Noah Williams on the final day (22nd July).

Fukuoka 2023 Diving
Fukuoka Diving Pool

As mentioned, the artistic swimming competition will also begin on 14th July at the Marine Messe Fukuoka, with significant British interest following an impressive performance from the team at the recent European Games. Medallists from that competition, Ranjuo Tomblin and Beatrice Crass, will go together in the Mixed Duet Technical and Free events (prelims on 15th and 21st July respectively). Tomblin will also be in action in the Men’s Solo Technical and Free (14th and 18th July respectively), with Olympian Kate Shortman in women’s action for the same events (14th and 17th July respectively). Shortman will also be in action with long-time duet partner Isabelle Thorpe for the Women’s Duet Technical and Free (14th and 18th).

In action alongside the divers and artistic swimmers in the opening week are Hector Pardoe, Amber Keegan and Leah Crisp. The marathon swimming trio will take to the Seaside Momochi Beach Park for the Open Water Championships, with Pardoe taking part in the Men’s 10km and 5km events (16th July and 18th July), with Keegan and Crisp in the Women’s 5km and 10km races (15th July and 18th July).

Seaside Momochi Beach Park (Getty)
Seaside Momochi Beach Park

Once all of the medals from those sports have been awarded, the British attention then turns back to the Marine Messe Fukuoka for the swimming events, which run from 23rd-30th July. Spearheading the British effort in the pool will be reigning Men’s 50m Freestyle world, Commonwealth and European champion Ben Proud, who will begin his defence in the prelims on 28th July, whilst also going in the heats for the Men’s 50m Butterfly event on 23rd July.

Other British medallists from the event last year include 200m Freestyle Olympic champion Tom Dean, with the bronze medallist from Budapest looking to return to the podium this time round as he takes part in the heats of the event on 24th July, alongside reigning British champion Matthew Richards.

The reigning Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay Olympic champions also begin their campaign to win another medal following their bronze last year on 28th July, with the Men’s 4x100m Medley Relay team also looking to improve on last year’s bronze medal when they take to the pool on 30th July.

Duncan Scott makes his return to the World Championships team following his absence last year due to injury; the Scot goes in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley alongside Dean on 26th July.

European Women’s 200m Freestyle silver medallist from 2022, Freya Anderson, goes in the same event this time round on 25th July, with fellow European medallist Freya Colbert looking to make inroads on the world stage in the Women’s 400m Individual Medley – which begins on 30th July. Colbert also goes in the event alongside Katie Shanahan, who is making her World Championships debut – the Scot also lining up in the Women’s 200m Backstroke two days prior.

The Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay team who took gold at the Tokyo Olympics two years ago are also set to line up for the event over the week, with the action for that event getting underway on 26th July.

Fukuoka High Diving
Fukuoka High Diving Platform

The high diving competition rounds off the British involvement in Fukuoka, as the action at the Seaside Momochi Beach Park runs from 25th-27th July. Aidan Heslop and Owen Weymouth go in the Men’s 27m event on 25th July.

Check out our “What’s On?” page for full details on how to catch all of the action on screen and in our daily reports.