Greenbank, Wilby set for Olympic debuts as four pre-selected for Tokyo GamesJanuary 20, 2021
Luke Greenbank and James Wilby are set to make their Olympic debuts after being pre-selected alongside Adam Peaty and Duncan Scott by Team GB for the postponed Tokyo Games.
The four have been chosen following their individual medal-winning performances at the 2019 FINA World Championships, in Gwangju, South Korea.
Greenbank, who was the 200m Backstroke bronze medallist and also part of the triumphant 4×100 Medley Relay team, said he was itching to head to Japan following the announcement.
He said: “To make the Olympic team means absolutely everything to me.
“It’s the pinnacle of our sport, and it’s something I’ve wanted since I started swimming at nine years old.
“I can’t wait to get out there and experience it first-hand.
“Obviously the last year or so has been quite different with regards to not being able to train or compete as much, so I think that’s something a lot of athletes are missing in their lives.
“So to have that opportunity to go out to the Olympics and race on the biggest stage of them all is absolutely amazing, and like I say, I just can’t wait to get out there.”
Wilby, who was second behind Peaty in the 100m Breaststroke at the 2019 World Championships, added: “Pre-selection is amazing.
“It’s really nice to be put on the team and have that certainty, with all the uncertainty that’s going on in the world at the moment.
“It’s really nice to be among that list of select athletes picked, but as I’m sure the others will be saying, it doesn’t mean the work can stop now – all it means is we’ve got ourselves on the plane, the job still has to be done.
“It’s always something I have aspired to and it’s always going to hold a special place in my heart being one of the select few who have been picked to represent Great Britain at the modern Olympic Games.”
Peaty, who will be bidding to defend his Olympic 100m Breaststroke title he won at the Rio 2016 Games, said: “I’m very happy to make the Olympic team – it’s always a huge pride and honour to represent my country in what I do best.
“Hopefully over the next few months we can come together even more as a country, back the full Olympic team, and we can come back from Tokyo with a very successful performance behind us.
“There is a lot of work to do from now until then, but I’m very hopeful the Olympics will go ahead and it’ll see continued success for Team GB.”
Team GB Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Mark England, congratulated the athletes on their selection.
He said: “We are thrilled to confirm that Adam, Duncan, James and Luke have been selected to Team GB for the Tokyo Olympics and would like to congratulate them on this outstanding achievement.
“We hope that this confirmation provides clarity and focus for this hugely talented group of swimmers as they continue their preparation for the Olympic Games.
“The mix of Olympic debutants and Olympic medallists within this group is extremely exciting and we know that their performances will uplift and inspire the nation this summer.”
Further selections to the team will be confirmed at the British Swimming Championships, which is due to take place at the London Aquatics Centre between 13 and 18 April.
Chris Spice, British Swimming National Performance Director and Team GB Swimming Team Leader, said: “I give my warmest congratulations to Adam, James, Duncan and Luke, who have all been selected to the Tokyo Olympic team as per our policy published a few weeks ago.
“These gentlemen are all outstanding athletes and great ambassadors for our sport.
“Their selections are richly deserved, and I know how the four of them will keep their heads down and work even harder now to be in the best possible shape for Tokyo.
“I am also fully aware that some of our Olympic hopefuls’ training environments are compromised right now and I feel desperately sorry about that.
“We continue to work hard to ensure our current elite athlete group can train, but our thoughts are also with those who cannot access water at the moment – we are hoping that with the extension of the Olympic qualifying window we can, at least in part, alleviate some of their concerns.”
The rescheduled Olympic Games are due to take place from 23 July to 8 August.