Freya Anderson is selected for GB’s Olympic swim team

Shropshire swimming star Freya Anderson is heading for Tokyo this summer after being selected for the Olympic Games by Team GB.

Great Britain's Freya Anderson
Great Britain's Freya Anderson

Twenty-four swimmers were added to the squad yesterday, with former Ellesmere Titan Anderson among them.

The 20-year-old, who has won medals at world, European and Commonwealth level, developed her talent under Alan Bircher at Ellesmere, but relocated to Bath last year.

“I’m forever grateful for what Alan’s done with me and the programme at Ellesmere,” said Anderson at the time. “It’s going to be sad as I’ve been there for five years, but I think it’s the right time to do it and have a new start.”

Meanwhile, chef de mission Mark England believes there will be ‘some special moments in the pool’ after adding 24 swimmers to the Team GB squad.

The bulk of the swimming team has now been revealed following last week’s selection trials, with the latest batch of entrants joining Adam Peaty, Duncan Scott, James Wilby and Luke Greenbank, who secured their places in January.

“I’d be pretty confident that we are selecting the strongest swim team that has ever represented Team GB at an Olympic Games,” England said. “We’ll see some special special moments in the pool in Tokyo.” Peaty, who won Team GB’s first gold medal at Rio 2016 by breaking his own world record in the 100 metres breaststroke, is the standout representative of the 28-strong squad that has been selected so far.

Ben Proud is among that contingent after posting a trials-winning time which would have won silver at the 2019 World Championships in the 50m freestyle.

Kathleen Dawson, who won the 100m and 200m backstroke in London two weeks ago, and Molly Renshaw, who recently broke the British 200m breaststroke record, are also included.

Also named on the team are brothers Joe and Max Litchfield, 400m individual medley specialist Aimee Willmott and butterfly swimmer Alys Thomas, who will make her Olympic debut at the age of 30.

British Swimming performance director and swimming team leader for Tokyo, Chris Spice, said: “We have over 40 per cent athletes on the team that were not with us at our last World Championships in 2019, which demonstrates the outstanding work coaches and support staff across Britain have done keeping these athletes training to the highest of levels in very challenging circumstances during the last 18 months.

“Of course, our work has only just begun and we now turn our attention to swimming faster in the summer which I know every athlete on this team is capable of. If we do this I am sure we can have a very successful Tokyo Games.”

Further swimmers may be added to the team in June based on performances at the European Championships and other identified meets, with a primary focus on bolstering the potential for relay medals.

The final qualifying event for the marathon swim will take place from June 19-20 in Setubal, Portugal.

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