The Manchester Aquatics Centre will once again play host to elite swimming, with Britain’s best continuing their competitive preparations for Tokyo at a British Swimming Invitation Meet from 12-14th March.
After the undoubted success of the Manchester International Swim Meet (MISM), held under strict COVID protocols in February, British Swimming will run a further event to aid the preparations of those aiming for success at the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.
Despite almost 12 months without long-course competition, the athletes put on a show at last month’s MISM, with multiple British records broken across the three days of action, which were witnessed by 25,000 people via the livestream coverage. Molly Renshaw was the star of the show on the Friday night, equalling the Women’s 200m Breaststroke British record with an impressive swim, whilst Adam Peaty took 50m and 100m Breaststroke golds, posting quick times in both.
S3 para-swimmer Ellie Challis produced a string of breath taking performances across the weekend, the 16-year-old breaking British records in the 50m Backstroke and 100m Freestyle, whilst another para-swimmer in record-breaking form was Jordan Catchpole, his victory in the Men’s Mixed Classification (MC) 50m Freestyle seeing him take the British S14 record, one of five wins over the three days.
The British Swimming Invitation Meet will follow the same protocols, with a robust testing process that requires the return of a negative lateral flow test upon arrival at the meet hotel and entering into the competition bubble. Those involved will then be required to confine themselves to the meet hotel, the Manchester Aquatics Centre and private transport for the duration. Face coverings and social distancing will be mandatory at all times, other than when swimmers are in the water.
These measures ensured there were no positive cases at the MISM, but British Swimming Chief Executive, Jack Buckner, has warned against complacency.
“The Manchester International was a definite triumph – the level of planning and risk mitigation that went into getting the event off the ground, and then running it safely and smoothly, was unbelievable – I am extremely proud of what we managed to achieve thanks to the cooperation of everyone involved, from staff and partners through to athletes, volunteers and officials.
“That being said, we must be extremely vigilant against complacency. Just because we pulled it off once doesn’t mean we can let our guard down. We have tightened a couple of our procedures further still, but it will need the same diligence from everyone to run another successful meet.”
Manchester City Council's Executive Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, said:
"We're extremely pleased and proud of the successful, safe staging of the Manchester International Swim Meet and stand ready to host this second elite event for the nation's top swimmers, with strict COVID protocols in place throughout to protect all participants, officials and volunteers.
"Working with British Swimming in this way, with the City of Manchester Swim Team playing a big part in making the event happen through their support, is further proof of our commitment to swimming and Team GB's preparations for the Tokyo Olympics."
The event will once again be livestreamed via the British Swimming YouTube channel, where you can also watch replays of each session from the Manchester International in full.