The final selections for the Team England swimming squad for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games have been announced today.
Amongst the line-up is double Commonwealth silver medallist Aimee Willmott, Commonwealth champion James Wilby and Paralympic, World, European and Commonwealth champion Ollie Hynd MBE.
This will be Willmott’s third outing for Team England, experiencing her first major international at Delhi 2010, and then claiming two silver medals at Glasgow 2014. The Middlesbrough-born swimmer was selected on the basis of her performance at the Swim England National Winter Championships, where she won 400m IM gold within the selection time.
Commenting on her selection, Willmott said: “My first memories of senior swimming were at the Commonwealth Games. I swam at Delhi and I was one of the youngest on the team and this time around I’ll be one of the oldest on the team.
“It’s a great environment for more swimmers from England to make the team and get that experience – that’s one of the great things about the Commonwealths.”
For Wilby, this will be his second Commonwealth Games, having been part of the gold medal-winning 4x100m Medley Relay team at Glasgow 2014. He made two selection times at the Swim England National Winter Championships 2017, as well as securing a hat-trick of gold medals.
Wilby said: “The Commonwealth Games is always an enjoyable experience. Glasgow 2014 was the first international meet that I ever competed in, and it’s always good because it’s known as the friendly games. It’s good to get some experience and race against some great guys.”
Mansfield-born Hynd is no stranger to the senior ranks in swimming, and is one of the few athletes to hold the swimming grand slam. The 23-year-old also currently holds World records in the 200m and 400m Freestyle (S8) as well as the SM8 200m Individual Medley. The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealths will be Hynd’s second outing for Team England.
Hynd said: “I am very proud to be selected for my second Commonwealth Games, it’s a great privilege to represent Team England. I can’t wait to get out to Gold Coast and experience the amazing atmosphere of the games. In the pool I’ve been working very hard to be in the best shape possible to try and defend the title I gained four years ago in Glasgow.”
The swimmers are three of 24 athletes to be announced today, and will be joining the 15 athletes announced following the first phase of selections by Swim England on 4 October 2017.
Also announced today are three additions to the Team England coaching staff, Head Coach at Newcastle SC Ryan Livingstone, Loughborough University Performance Coach Ian Hulme and Millfield School’s Director of Swimming, Euan Dale.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Team Leader Grant Robins said: “The announcement today completes our team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and we’ve got a blend of experienced athletes and some new younger swimmers in our team, this is what the selection policy was designed to achieve.
“We had a great National Winter Championships in Sheffield last month and it’s looking good for the Gold Coast. Hopefully by the end of the six days of competition in Australia this April we will have a few medals in the bag, personal best times achieved and lots of great experiences gained ready for the road ahead.”The announcement comes just three months before the opening ceremony of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on 4 April 2018.
Team England Chef de Mission Sarah Winckless said: “I’m delighted to welcome the full swimming squad to Team England for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“There are less than 90 days to go to the start of the Opening Ceremony and this announcement is a big milestone for the team. The swimming squad is a great balance of youth and experience and I am sure they will do the nation proud, competing for Team and Country in Australia this April.”
Athletes announced for the Team England Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games swimming team today (4 January 2018)
Athletes announced for the Team England Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games swimming team on 4 October 2017