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31 March 2008 PR 08/38

Loughborough swimmers eye Olympic selection

Loughborough’s largest ever contingent of swimmers will be hoping to make the grade at the British Olympic trials taking place in Sheffield this week.

41 of the University’s swimmers have achieved national qualification times to put them within reach of a place in Team GB. Swimmers must now prove they have what it takes to compete at the most prestigious world sporting event by achieving tough qualification standards set by British Swimming.

Evening heats and morning finals replicate the programme athletes can expect in Beijing, and swimmers must achieve a world top 12 time in the heats then finish top two in the finals to be considered for the British team.

Loughborough’s Liam Tancock and University-based David Davies have already qualified for Team GB through top three performances at last year’s World Championships. Other Loughborough swimmers, including Commonwealth Champions Caitlin McClatchey and Ross Davenport and multi-Commonwealth medallist Mel Marshall, are also favourites in the mix to gain Olympic selection.

Loughborough-based David Carry, swimming for Aberdeen Dolphins, will face tough competition for one of two spots up for grabs in the Freestyle events as he tries to make it to his second Olympics and improve on his world ranking.

“My aim is to obviously qualify for the Olympic squad but to also re-establish myself in the world’s top 10 again,” he said.

“I have been through a selection event for the Olympics before and I know what to expect, but regardless of your experience it is possibly the most intense competition you could attend. There is more pressure on athletes to perform here than at an Olympics. But this is what we thrive off and what pushes us on to bring out better performances.

“I am really excited about seeing how fast I will be able to swim this week. I haven’t had many opportunities to swim fast since last summer and I will be eager to see how much I have improved since the last time I raced.”

Loughborough University Director of Swimming Ian Armiger is delighted with the number of swimmers that have achieved fast times to compete in Sheffield and hopes a good number of them will go on to gain Olympic selection.

“The strength in depth of this team is outstanding,” he said. “To have 40 swimmers at an Olympic Trials where qualification times are really tough is a fantastic achievement.

“The racing starts tonight and we expect to equal or surpass the number of swimmers at the Athens Olympics. We do have a couple of medal chances for Beijing as well. Our swimmers are performing well at the moment and after some great swims at the Europeans we expect them to step up to the next level in Sheffield. We might even see more British records fall.”

The British Swimming Championships (Olympic Trials) take place at Ponds Forge, Sheffield, from 31 March to 6 April. Heats start at 6pm and finals are at 10am. Live results are available via http://www.britishswimming.org

Loughborough University athletes in action this week are as follows:


Liam Tancock, 200m Backstroke & 200m Individual Medley
James Gibson, 100m Breaststroke
Euan Dale, 200m Freestyle, 200m & 400m Individual Medley
Ross Davenport, 50m, 100m & 200m Freestyle
David Davies, 200m & 400m Freestyle (Based at Lboro)
David Carry, 100m, 200m & 400m Freestyle (Based at lboro)
James Goddard, 100m, 200m Backstroke & 200m Individual Medley
Craig Gibbons, 50m, 100m Freestyle & 100m Backstroke
Dean Milwain, 200m & 400m Freestyle
Joe Roebuck, 200m Butterfly, 200m & 400m Individual Medley
Chris Watkinson, 100m & 200m Breaststroke
Scott Hathaway, 100m & 200m Backstroke
Daniel Coombs, 100m, 200m, 400m Freestyle & 200m Individual Medley
Grant Turner, 50m, 100m, 200m & 400m Freestyle
Joe Canlan Shaw, 100m, 200m Backstroke & 200m Individual Medley
Jonathon Cook, 200m & 400m Individual Medley
Daniel Fogg, 400m & 1500m Freestyle
Craig Elliot, 100m & 200m Breaststroke
Jamie Broom, 200m & 400m Freestyle
James Clarke, 100m, 200m, 400m Freestyle & 100m Butterfly
Ewan Martin, 100m & 200m Breaststroke
Jonathon Gatley, 400m Individual Medley
James Tait, 100m Breaststroke
Edward Downes, 200m Buttefly, 200m & 400m Individual Medley
Adam Freundlich, 100m Breaststroke
Josh Ker, 100m & 200m Butterfly
James Lovatt, 100m, 200m Backstroke & 200m Individual Medley
Michael Unsworth, 1500m Freestyle


Caitlin McClatchey, 100m, 200m, 400m & 800m Freestyle
Melanie Marshall, 100m, 200m Freestyle, 100m & 200m Backstroke
Julia Beckett, 100m, 200m, 400m Freestyle & 100m Butterfly
Kate Haywood, 100m & 200m Breaststroke
Amy Smith, 50m, 100m & 200m Freestyle
Rebecca Shaw, 200m Freestyle, 100m & 200m Butterfly
Aimee Ramm, 50m & 100m Freestyle
Claudia Coleman, 50m & 100m Freestyle, 100m Backstroke & 200m Individual Medley
Sophie Casson, 200m Freestyle, 100m & 200m Backstroke
Emma Boret, 100m & 200m Butterfly
Jade Barclay, 200m Butterfly
Georgina Fromson, 100m Butterfly
Julianne Lago, 100m & 200m Butterfly


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Notes to editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national league tables. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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