A quartet of Olympic champions will spearhead a 13-strong team of
British swimmers competing at December's World Short Course Championships in
Abu Dhabi, rounding off a historic year for British Swimming.
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 16th-21st December.
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 are all included in the team.
Dean and Scott recorded the first British gold-and-silver finish (in the Men’s 200m Freestyle) for more than a century, before the pair combined with Richards and James Guy to secure Men’s 4x200m Freestyle glory. Anderson, meanwhile, played her part in Britain’s team clinching the inaugural Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay title.
Six other Olympic finalists are on the plane to Abu Dhabi too. That includes European champions Molly Renshaw, Abbie Wood and Lucy Hope, as well as Ben Proud, Max Litchfield - both European medallists from Budapest 2021 themselves - and Daniel Jervis.
Ed Mildred, Katie Shanahan and Cameron Kurle round out the group of 13, with Mildred and Shanahan gaining more valuable senior experience at international level after featuring at both the senior and junior European Championships earlier this year.
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 long-course 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 non-stop 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.”
British Swimming team selected to compete at the FINA World Short Course Championships in Abu Dhabi, UAE (16th-21st December 2021):
- Freya Anderson - England, Bath National Centre
- Tom Dean - England, Bath National Centre
- Lucy Hope - Scotland, University of Stirling
- Daniel Jervis - Wales, Swansea University
- Cameron Kurle - England, University of Stirling
- Max Litchfield - England, Loughborough National Centre
- Edward Mildred - England, Bath National Centre
- Ben Proud - England, University of Bath
- Molly Renshaw - England, Loughborough National Centre
- Matthew Richards - Wales, Bath National Centre
- Duncan Scott - Scotland, University of Stirling
- Katie Shanahan - Scotland, City of Glasgow Swim Team
- Abbie Wood - England, Loughborough National Centre