Final call for Britain’s Paralympic hopefuls
4th April 2012
Great Britain’s Paralympic hopefuls are preparing for their final chance to qualify for London 2012 at this weekend’s British International Disability Swimming Championships (BIDSC).
The event – which takes place between 6th – 8th April – will act as second trials for the Paralympic Games with athletes attempting to secure nomination times and realise their Paralympic dream.
Everyone is different in how they cope with that pressure but I know everyone is going to want to give it their all.
While 29 swimmers secured their times at the British Gas Swimming Championships in London Aquatics Centre last month, the BIDSC will see action return to familiar territory of Ponds Forge, Sheffield.
As with previous years, the event will welcome a host of international stars and six-time Paralympic champion Sascha Kindred insists the meet should bring out the best in Britain’s disability swimmers.
“Everyone is different in how they cope with that pressure but I know everyone is going to want to give it their all,” said Kindred, who – alongside wife and nine-time Paralympic medallist Nyree – was one of the swimmers to secure nomination times in London.
“It’s brilliant the internationals coming to this event every year – there is always a broad range of competitors here which is a sign of what a quality event it is.
“It’s a good opportunity to race against your international rivals and for those who haven’t qualified, it’s another good incentive for them.
“Hopefully those that were so close at the first trials in London can get those times because we want the strongest possible team for this summer.
“There’s a little bit of pressure off myself and Nyree but obviously we both want to perform well this weekend. We want to put in some good solid times and show we are still strong at this point in the season.”
While the number of quota places available to Great Britain will not be confirmed until the end of May, British Disability Swimming are set to announce an initial nomination of athletes following the BIDSC.
And although National Performance Director John Atkinson admits the nomination standards were high, he is adamant he is targeting further improvements from his squad at the Games.
“We have set a high nomination standard to ensure we will be competitive in London and at the first trials, 29 athletes met the nomination criteria at the first time of asking,” said Atkinson.
“Some still need to make the grade in Sheffield this weekend and after the second trials, I expect the athletes to return to their home programmes and continue the good work they are doing which will allow them to improve again on their times at the Games.”
All tickets for the BIDSC are available on the door - click here to find out more.