Britain's elite swimmers and para-swimmers will take another important stroke towards the summer's Olympic and Paralympic Games as they take to the pool at the British Swimming Invitation Meet this weekend.
Fresh from the success of February's Manchester International Swim Meet, the Manchester Aquatics Centre will again be the stage across three days of action, which will provide Tokyo hopefuls with another crucial competition opportunity in the lead-up to the British Para-Swimming International Meet and the British Swimming Selection Trials next month.
Just as at MISM four weeks ago, the entire competition will be held under strict COVID protocols, with all athletes, coaches and staff entering a strict pool-hotel bubble for the duration, maintaining social distancing throughout and with face masks worn at all times when athletes are not in the water or on the blocks.
That new-look setup did not prevent some eye-catching performances last time out, despite a near 12-month break from long-course racing, with Molly Renshaw, James Guy, Ellie Challis, Abbie Wood and Jordan Catchpole among those to record brilliant results across their events.
Each of that quintet will be back this time around, while all four of the swimmers already selected to Team GB - Adam Peaty, Duncan Scott, Luke Greenbank and James Wilby - will be in attendance as they look to build on the hard work put in over the recent months of training.
The morning heats will get underway from 9.30am each day, with the first final off the blocks at 5.30pm. This meet could also see some B finals competed in the evening, across select events. Every minute of the competition will be available to watch on livestream on the British Swimming YouTube channel.
The highlights on the schedule for day one include a couple of big breaststroke races, with Peaty looking to make another statement in the Men's 100m Breaststroke and Renshaw, Wood and their Loughborough teammate Sarah Vasey all likely to push each other to the wall in the women's race. S3 competitor Challis, meanwhile, will again look to lower her own British best mark in the Women's MC 50m Backstroke.
Day two will include a showcase of young British talent in an exciting Men's 100m Freestyle, before the final day of action on Sunday closes with the Women's 200m Individual Medley. Wood, Maisie Summers-Newton and Grace Harvey all lit up those contests across the able-bodied and mixed-classification finals in Manchester last month.
Once again, all involved across the three-day event appreciate the privilege of being involved in the competitive environment while many remain unable to return to the pool, with the ultimate aim being for this meet to help aid the chances of elite success at the Olympics and Paralympics in less than six months time.
Ahead of the meet, Chris Furber, British Para-Swimming's National Performance Director, added: "The Manchester International last month was a much-needed step in the right direction, both in showing that we can run events safely during these challenging times, but also that it hopefully won't be too long before the wider swimming community can be back doing what they love; it was great to see that the government's latest roadmap reflects this as well.
"On the performance side, there were some very encouraging swims four weeks ago, especially given our para-swimmers had been without competition for over a year. With that competition stimulus and another good block of training under their belts, we're hoping we'll see more progress this weekend as we head towards the BPSIM in a month’s time, which acts as our key selection meet for Tokyo."
Head over to the British Swimming YouTube channel to find the live stream videos for every session from the British Swimming Invitation Meet - and follow our social media channels for regular updates too.