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England’s talented youngsters can ‘lay down a marker’ at British Championships

England’s talented junior swimmers can ‘lay down a marker’ for the next Olympic Games by challenging some of the senior stalwarts for places on the Commonwealth Games team at the British Swimming Championships.

The six-day competition kicks off at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge International pool on Tuesday 5 April and is key qualifying event for Birmingham 2022 and other junior and senior international meets throughout the year.

A total of 24 places are still up for grabs for Team England’s swimming squad which will be competing at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre from Friday 29 July.

Grant Robins, Team England swimming team leader for Birmingham 2022, said he hoped the British Swimming Championships would be the start of an amazing journey for some of the junior swimmers in contention for places in senior squads in 2022 and beyond.

He said: “With so many entries and a packed six days of racing, it will be so exciting to see the opportunities for junior and senior swimmers unfold as the week progresses.

“The home nations will be ‘topping up’ their squads for the Commonwealth Games and there are 24 Team England places up for grabs.

“The hard work to get there starts on Tuesday but the prize of a home Games in Birmingham is one that many will be keen to grasp.

“We are of course mid-cycle to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games and the hope is that some of our junior swimmers will lay down a marker and really challenge some of the senior stalwarts for places.

“The opportunity to be part of a multi-sport occasion two years before the Olympic Games will be a great experience for all those that can make that jump.

Wide open

“I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone gets on.”

Ten swimmers have already been pre-selected for the Team England squad based on reaching individual finals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Grant said there are still huge opportunities in a number of events.

He added: “Events that are still wide open include the men’s butterfly and racing between James Guy and Jacob Peters will be exhilarating.

“Who will get the sprint freestyles and the 200m medley slots? Backing up Adam Peaty and James Wilby on the breaststroke will also be intriguing with some great in-season swims so far from those chasing.

“Now that Aimee Willmott has retired, who will fill her place on the distance individual medley and who’s stepping up on the women’s butterfly and backstroke?

“There are still huge opportunities for individual and relay success.”

Swimmers from Swim England’s Development squad, event vcamps and junior teams will also be competing throughout the week.

The British Swimming Championships take place on Tuesday 5 to Sunday 10 April at Ponds Forge and each session will be live streamed on British Swimming’s YouTube channel.