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British Swimming announces additional meet to be held in Manchester

British Swimming has announced that the Manchester Aquatics Centre will host a second competition this month following the success of the recent Manchester International Swim Meet (MISM).

This Invitational Meet will take place from 12-14 March and according to British Swimming, is being put on ‘to aid the preparations of those aiming for success at the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer’.

Last month’s competition, which saw the likes of Adam Peaty, James Guy, Ellie Simmonds and Luke Greenbank return to racing on home soil, was held under strict Covid-19 health and safety protocols.

The same protocols – which were developed in conjunction with the Manchester Safety Advisory Group (SAG), which includes Public Health England – will apply.

This will mean that anyone involved in the meet will have to provide a negative lateral flow test before entering the ‘competition bubble’. Attendants will also be required to confine themselves to the meet hotel, the Manchester Aquatics Centre and private transport for the duration of the three-day meet.

In addition, face coverings and social distancing will be mandatory at all times, other than when swimmers are in the water. These strict measures resulted in no positive coronavirus cases emerging from February’s meet.

‘Vigilant against complacency’

However, British Swimming’s chief executive, Jack Buckner has said: “The Manchester International was a definite triumph – the level of planning and risk mitigation that went into getting the event off the ground, and then running it safely and smoothly, was unbelievable.

“I am extremely proud of what we managed to achieve thanks to the cooperation of everyone involved, from staff and partners through to athletes, volunteers and officials.

“That being said, we must be extremely vigilant against complacency. Just because we pulled it off once doesn’t mean we can let our guard down. We have tightened a couple of our procedures further still, but it will need the same diligence from everyone to run another successful meet”, he added.

Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure, said of the competitive activity:

“We’re extremely pleased and proud of the successful, safe staging of the Manchester International Swim Meet and stand ready to host this second elite event for the nation’s top swimmers, with strict COVID protocols in place throughout to protect all participants, officials and volunteers.

“Working with British Swimming in this way, with the City of Manchester Swim Team playing a big part in making the event happen through their support, is further proof of our commitment to swimming and Team GB’s preparations for the Tokyo Olympics.”

The event will be live-streamed via British Swimming’s YouTube channel.