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British Swimming Championships to be held at the London Aquatics Centre in 2021

British Swimming has announced that the British Swimming Championships will be held at the London Aquatics Centre in 2021.

The competition was due to take place between 14–19 April this year but was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will now take place a year later, from 13–18 April 2021.

The event will feature heavily in the selection process for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, which has also been rescheduled to next year.

In addition, it is hoped the competition will aid in selecting athletes for any other senior and junior international competitions next summer.

The competition will also feature a different format than previous years.

There will be a second heats session each day which will mean that more athletes, both senior and junior, will have the opportunity to compete.

Qualifying standards will be backdated to 1 March 2019. More information on qualification and entries is set to be published by British Swimming in December.

Importance of competition

Chris Spice, British Swimming Performance Director, said it is “vital” to give athletes a point of focus moving forward.

“After more than six months of disruption, it is vital that we give our athletes something to focus on, and what could be better than a British Championships in London.

“Our elite swimmers are back working hard at our designated training centres across the UK and we’re keeping everything crossed that club programmes will be able to have some consistency leading into these championships.

“We also fully understand the difficulties of qualification for these championships and along with our Home National colleagues, and with GLL and LLDC [London Legacy Development Corporation], our partners in London, we are working hard to be as inclusive as possible given the ongoing disruption to club training environments.

“Whilst this is good news for the sport, we must remain vigilant and follow the Government guidelines that are in place.

“If we can do that, as a country and as a sporting sector, then I’m confident we can witness a fantastic celebration of swimming in April.”

British Swimming chief executive, Jack Buckner, expressed his optimism ahead of the event.

He said: “We are delighted to make this announcement today and give the aquatics community a major event to look forward to.

“Whilst we, as a country, still have a long way to go to beat the pandemic, we have to be optimistic that by April we can return to sport as we know it.

“Over the years this event has put on quite the spectacle, and bringing the event to London, as we planned to do in April 2020, will only add to the sense of occasion and excitement.”

Chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, Lyn Garner, said: “We are very excited to be hosting the 2021 British Swimming Championships and that champions of British Swimming will be returning to the London Aquatics Centre and London in this all-important year.”