Firth and Hynd named on 2017 Para-Swimming Podium programme

Bethany Firth and Ollie Hynd are among 10 English swimmers named on British Para-Swimming’s Podium programme for the 2017 season.

Newcastle Swim Team swimmer Firth scooped four medals, including a hat-trick of golds, for Team GB at Rio 2016.

Nova Centurion’s Hynd was also a multiple medallist in Rio, winning a pair of golds in the S8 classification.

Rio 2016 Paralympic champions Michael Jones, Hannah Russell, Eleanor Robinson and Matt Wylie are also included in the squad.

All athletes on the programme have resumed their training for the 2017 season. The first major meet of the season will be the EFDS National Para-Swimming Championships 2016 in Manchester.

British Para-Swimming National Performance Director Chris Furber said: “Rio marked the end a really strong cycle for British Para-Swimming.

“We reversed the downward trend and we achieved some of the best results ever for the sport at a Paralympics.

“However, as predicted the standard of competition in Rio took another leap forwards and while it’s important to enjoy our success we can’t miss a beat as we now prepare for Tokyo.

We achieved some of the best results ever for the sport at a Paralympics.

“The beginning of a cycle gives us the chance to take stock of where we are as a programme and create the best opportunities for our developing athletes to come through ahead of the 2020 Paralympics.

“The programme criteria that we put in place is based on whether the athlete has demonstrated that they on a focused path to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games where we expect competition standards to be even greater than in Rio.

“We all have the desire to be even better in Tokyo and in the opening season of the quadrennial we will be working to ensure athletes get all of the challenges they need to improve.

“The next step is to ensure athletes and coaches have the right performance plans in place ahead of a tough 2017.”

British Para-Swimming also announced a new structure to the talent programme with the addition of a Para-Academy squad.

Podium Programme

  • Josef Craig (City of Sunderland)
  • Bethany Firth (Newcastle Swim Team)
  • Jonathan Fox (City of Manchester)
  • Tom Hamer (City of Manchester)
  • Oliver Hynd (Nova Centurion)
  • Michael Jones (Loughborough University)
  • Harriet Lee
  • Eleanor Robinson (Northampton)
  • Hannah Russell (City of Manchester)
  • Matt Wylie (City of Sunderland)