A para-swimming squad featuring 11 returning Paralympians and 12 debutants has today been selected as part of the ParalympicsGB team set to compete at the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 this summer.
Bethany Firth, Stephanie Millward, Eleanor Robinson, Hannah Russell and Ellie Simmonds all won gold at Rio 2016, as Britain’s swimmers won an incredible 47 medals in the pool. They are joined by five further medallists from the last Games; Jessica-Jane Applegate, Thomas Hamer, Andrew Mullen, Scott Quin and Becky Redfern.
In total, this group of ten athletes has won 41 Paralympic Games medals between them, with Simmonds and Millward set to make a fourth consecutive Paralympics appearance in Tokyo.
Excited about joining up with the team once again, Simmonds commented: “I’m really looking forward to competing at another Paralympics, each Games is special in its own right - from my first one as a 13-year-old at Beijing 2008, and now to be heading into a fourth aged 26 is a magical feeling.
“The Paralympics are such an incredible event to be a part of, almost in a way you can’t quite explain. I’m always very proud to represent ParalympicsGB and Great Britain and I can’t wait to go to Japan, swim well and enjoy my fourth Games.”
Stephen Clegg, the final returning member from Rio, set a blistering new world record in the S12 100m Butterfly in April and is determined to show the progress he has made in the past five years.
He said: “Rio was never an end goal for me, it was always Tokyo - I was just lucky enough to be in that team and get that experience. I’m really looking forward to racing, being back in that team environment, and whatever comes in terms of medals and placings, as long as I present the best version of myself on the day I’ll be very happy.”
Of the 12 debutants set to write their own chapter of Paralympic history, Reece Dunn, Tully Kearney and Maisie Summers-Newton claimed seven individual titles between them at the 2019 World Championships in London, with Jordan Catchpole, Ellie Challis, Louise Fiddes, Suzanna Hext, Louis Lawlor and Toni Shaw also securing maiden world level medals in the capital.
Completing the team announced to date is Grace Harvey and Lyndon Longhorne, who both set new British records in April at the British Para-Swimming International Meet, along with 2021 European silver medallist Conner Morrison.
British Para-Swimming Performance Director, Chris Furber, said:
"The last 18 months have been challenging for everyone in the country but thanks to the Elite sport exemption we have been able to maintain some consistency in our preparation for Tokyo.
“I’m delighted to be able to get to the point of ParalympicsGB announcing these 23 swimmers who will compete in Tokyo in 55 days’ time. The team is a terrific blend of knowledge and experience with 11 swimmers having competed before at a Paralympic Games and 12 making their Paralympic debut. Injury and classification challenges have hit the team hard this season but we are determined to go to Tokyo and show the resilience to deliver our best possible performance."
ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe said: “Swimming has consistently been a hugely successful sport for ParalympicsGB with Rio 2016 being an incredible high point as the squad amassed 47 medals with countless moments in the aquatic centre that will live long in my memory.
“I am confident this brilliant squad of athletes will have that single-minded focus to once again achieve their personal best performances to excite and inspire the British public at Tokyo 2020. I also want to take this opportunity to thank the athletes and support staff for their tireless work to prepare for the Games amidst such challenging circumstances.”
A total of around 240 athletes from 19 sports are expected to make up the British team that will compete in Japan, with further names to be announced in the coming weeks.
ParalympicsGB captured the imagination of the British public at London 2012 winning 120 medals in front of sell-out crowds with countless memorable performances.
The team eclipsed that performance at Rio 2016 winning an outstanding 147 medals including 64 golds to finish second in the overall medal table. The rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be staged from 24th August to 5th September.
The Great Britain team:
Jessica-Jane Applegate, City of Norwich (S14, SB14, SM14)
Jordan Catchpole, Team Waveney (S14, SB14, SM14)
Ellie Challis, Manchester NPC (S3, SB2, SM3)
Stephen Clegg, Edinburgh University (S12, SB12, SM12)
Reece Dunn, Plymouth Leander (S14, SB14, SM14)
Louise Fiddes, Hatfield SC (S14, SB14, SM14)
Bethany Firth, Ards SC (S14, SB14, SM14)
Thomas Hamer, Manchester NPC (S14, SB14, SM14)
Grace Harvey, Manchester NPC (S6, SB5, SM6)
Suzanna Hext, Manchester NPC/Swindon ASC (S5, SB4, SM5)
Tully Kearney, Manchester NPC (S5, SB4, SM5)
Louis Lawlor, City of Glasgow ST (S14, SB14, SM14)
Lyndon Longhorne, Derwentside (S4, SB3, SM4)
Stephanie Millward, Bath University (S9, SB8, SM9)
Conner Morrison, Aberdeen University (S14, SB14, SM14)
Andrew Mullen, City of Glasgow ST (S5, SB4, SM5)
Scott Quin, Edinburgh University (S14, SB14, SM14)
Becky Redfern, Worcester SC (S13, SB13, SM13)
Eleanor Robinson, Northampton SC (S6, SB6, SM6)
Hannah Russell, Manchester NPC (S12, SB12, SM12)
Toni Shaw, Aberdeen University (S9, SB9, SM9)
Ellie Simmonds, Camden Swiss Cottage (S6, SB6, SM6)
Maisie Summers-Newton, Northampton SC (S6, SB6, SM6)