Britain's European teams ready to bring curtain down on unique summer

10 Aug 2022

Britain's aquatics athletes are ready for the final major meet of a packed summer in the water, with the European Championships set to get underway tomorrow (Thursday 11th August) in Rome. 

With many swimmers and divers fresh from a memorable Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and successful World Championship campaigns in Budapest, and the artistic swimming team looking to back up their Worlds performances too, Italy’s Olympic Park – the Viale dei Gladiatori – is the setting for a busy 11 days of action to round out two months of competition.

BBC Sport are providing extensive coverage of both the swimming and diving programmes from the Foro Italico, with heats/prelims and finals sessions due to be shown live on the BBC Sport website and BBC iPlayer. Updates on which finals sessions will be on BBC One or BBC Two will be provided as the meet continues.

Jacob Peters will be the first British swimmer into the water for the heats of the Men's 50m Butterfly from 8am BST on Thursday morning. Others diving in during that session are Freya Anderson (Women's 100m Freestyle), Katie Shanahan (Women's 200m Backstroke) and James Wilby (Men's 100m Breaststroke), who became Commonwealth champion in that event in stunning style last week.

Katie Shanahan [GettyImages]
Katie Shanahan

Tom Dean (200m Freestyle) and Ben Proud (50m Freestyle) will be targeting the unique achievement of winning individual medals across World Championship, European Championship and Commonwealth Games level in the same year, while a host of young athletes will be getting the taste of their first Europeans as they build towards Paris and beyond. 

An ever-increasing focus on relay teams heading towards the next Olympic Games means there will be plenty of opportunities for different swimmers to experience the team events across the women's, men's and mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay, 4x200m Freestyle Relay and 4x100m Medley Relay. Freestyler Isabella Hindley has unfortunately been unable to travel due to illness and will not be competing in Rome.

The artistic swimming programme gets underway on the same day as the swimming, Robyn Swatman getting things started in the Free Solo prelims from 8.30am. Later that day, the group will contest the Tech Team final, before duo Kate Shortman and Izzy Thorpe get their duet programme underway in the Free Duet prelims on Friday morning.

There is due to be British artistic involvement on each of the five days of competition, with coverage on All Aquatics.

The second half of the meet moves things over to the diving boards and the open water. The diving team had their best-ever World Championship return of six medals in Budapest, while British divers secured seven Commonwealth titles and 16 medals in total at Birmingham 2022 as the eye-catching momentum continued from 1m, 3m and 10m. 

The bulk of that Worlds team will be in action in Rome. Jack Laugher will look to continue his incredible summer, and Anthony Harding will join him for the Men's 3m Synchro as they go in search of the Worlds-Commonwealth-European hat-trick. Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix, Grace Reid, James Heatly and Noah Williams are also those who have stood on both World Championship and Commonwealth podiums in July and August, with their form suggesting they could be in line for a repeat in Italy.

Alongside the diving programme, marathon swimming runs until the final day on 21st August, beginning on 18th August with the Women's 10km and Men's 5km race at the Lido di Ostia. The team - which blends experienced distance specialists with some up-and-coming athletes looking for valuable experience in the unique open water events - was confirmed recently here

Grace Reid James Heatly Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix World Champs medal pic Budapest 2022
Grace Reid, James Heatly and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix are all part of the British Diving team in Rome

For schedules, start lists and results from Rome, click here.

Make sure to follow British Swimming on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for regular updates, reports and behind-the-scenes footage as the curtain comes down on this unique summer of aquatics competition.