Shropshire Star

Shropshire swimmer Hector Pardoe off to Tokyo

Shropshire swimmer Hector Pardoe has had his spot on the Team GB squad for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics confirmed.

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Pardoe will contest the marathon swimming events in Japan, having put in an eye-catching performance at the recent Olympic qualifier in Portugal, with the 20-year-old surging clear late on to win the men's 10km race.

The star swimmer, who is from Wrexham but has swam for both Whitchurch Wasps and Ellesmere College Titans, will join 30 other swimmers, 12 divers and artistic swimmers Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe on the plane to Tokyo.

His recent rise has seen him claim top-10 finishes at the FINA Marathon Swim World Series event in Doha for the past two years - it will be his Olympic debut this summer, however.

Pardoe said: "The feeling of qualifying for my first Olympics is even more incredible than I ever envisioned it being."

The Tokyo Olympics get started on Friday July 23, having been delayed from last summer by the coronavirus outbreak.

Pardoe started his swimming career at Whitchurch Wasps aged just five and moved on to Ellesmere College’s programme a year later. He was the first Team GB swimmer to win a medal at the World Junior Open Water Championships, taking bronze in 2017.

Last September he smashed a British marathon swimming record, becoming the first Brit to dip under five hours for a 25,000-metre open water swim at the French National Championships, around the time he was awarded a place on British Swimming’s World Class Programme.