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29 June 2009 | PR 09/80

Loughborough celebrates largest ever contingent at World Swimming Champs

World record holder Jo Jackson heads an impressive 13 Loughborough athletes in the British Gas Swimming Team destined for the World Championships in Rome next month.

The Loughborough 13 are named in a 40-strong British team, which includes fellow University team mate and Olympic medallist David Davies, for the Championships taking place from 26 July to 2 August.

Student sports scholar Melanie Nocher has been named in Ireland’s team for Rome, making Loughborough’s 14-strong contingent the University’s largest ever swimming showing at a major international outside of the Commonwealth Games.

Loughborough’s Robert Bale and Grant Turner both make their senior international debuts for Britain and will feature in the 4x200m and 4x100m Freestyle relays respectively, while University sports scholars Amy Smith and Joe Roebuck return to form with their first senior long course selection for two years.

2012 sports scholars Caitlin McClatchey and Liam Tancock are joined by Fran Halsall, Kate Haywood, Lizzie Simmonds, Ross Davenport and graduate James Gibson to complete Loughborough’s line-up on the British team.

“We’re obviously delighted with the number of athletes on the squad, which is a slight increase on the Beijing Olympics,” said Loughborough University director of swimming Ian Armiger. “There were a few near misses for some of the swimmers but we hope a number of them will feature in the World University Games squad which will be announced later this week.

“We’ve got some strong medal-winning opportunities in Jo Jackson and David Davies, and for athletes like Rob Bale and Grant Turner this is an important stepping stone in their career towards 2012. World Championship experience is invaluable for them at this point. 

“It’s been a great team effort with swimmers selected from across all four coaching groups at Loughborough which reflects the strength and talent of our coaching staff.”

Talking about the GB team as a whole, British Swimming head coach Dennis Pursley commented:

“This team has a really good mixture of veterans and young, up-and-coming swimmers and that was our goal. Our aim within the first year of the Olympic cycle plan was to try to get inexperienced swimmers competing in the premier events on the calendar such as the World Championships in Rome and this will be a good development opportunity.

“I’m looking forward to seeing some strong leadership from the veterans to begin the process of moulding together a tightly bonded team.”

The team of 40 swimmers gained selection following qualification at the British Gas Swimming Championships in March and last weekend in Glasgow at the British Gas Scottish Championships.  For selection to the World Championships athletes either had to win at the British Gas Championships or achieve the second fastest time over the two events.

Loughborough athletes named in teams for Rome are as follows:  

The British Gas Swimming Team

Fran Halsall
Kate Haywood
Jo Jackson
Caitlin McClatchey
Lizzie Simmonds
Amy Smith
Robert Bale
Ross Davenport
David Davies
James Gibson
Joe Roebuck
Liam Tancock
Grant Turner


Melanie Nocher

− ENDS −

For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Sport PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
M: 07825 236 221
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk

Notes for 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 was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 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 institution.

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.

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