GB Stars Get Ready for 'Second Olympic Trials' in Sheffield

With little more than two months to go until the start of London 2012, many GB stars will be in action at the British Gas ASA National Swimming Championships in Sheffield, hoping to impress selectors and clinch the remaining slots on the Olympic team.

Dubbed ‘the second Olympic trials’, the event at Pond Forge is the last chance for athletes to stake their claim for a London 2012 place. At the first selection trials in March, 38 athletes booked their place on the team, leaving 14 individual places available for the second round in Sheffield.

The events with slots still open include Men’s 100 metres, 200 metres and 400 metres free; the women’s 200 metres free and women’s 200 metres backstroke.

The fastest athletes in Sheffield in these events will be selected provided they beat the FINA ‘A’ standard. However, other athletes already selected for different events will get the nod if they swam faster in the relevant event in the final of the first selection trials, and their time in London also beat the ‘A’ standard.

Highlights to look out for include:

Men’s 100 metres Free

No athletes qualified at the first selection trials in London, leaving all to play for and two places available. Of the contenders, only Adam Brown (48.68) has previously beat the ‘A’ standard, so PBs would be required of the other leading entrants, who include Grant Turner (49.30), Craig Gibbons (49.49) and James Disney-May 49.49).

Men’s 200 metres and 400 metres Free

With Robbie Renwick having qualified in London for both of these events, one spot remains in each.

In the 200 metres, Ieuan Lloyd (1:47.68), David Carry (1:46.47) and Robert Bale (1:47.82) are the leading contenders, and they have all previously achieved the ‘A’ standard of (1:47.82). Lloyd was the runner up in the first trials and dipped under the ‘A’ standard then, so he stands in line for selection if his time is not beaten in Sheffield.

In the 400 metres, former Commonwealth champion Carry (3:47.17) and Lloyd (3:48.48) are again the leading athletes on paper. The ‘A’ standard is 3:48.92, so the spot will go to trials runner up Carry if neither swims faster in Sheffield.

Women’s 200 metres Free

Likely to be one of the most competitive events in Sheffield, one spot is available on the Olympic team, with the ‘A’ standard being 1:58.33.

Rebecca Turner won in London and booked her Olympic place, with Caitlin McClatchey, Ellie Faulkner, and Jo Jackson finishing behind her to clinch relay spots. There are additional relay places available, so Rebecca Adlington is likely to appear to get the selector’s nod for the 4x 200 metres –however she won’t be contesting an individual 200 metres place for London 2012.

Most fancied to clinch the second 200 metres Olympic spot will be the experienced McClatchey (1:56.62), Jackson (1:55.54) or Jaz Carlin (1:58.29). World 10km open water champion Keri-Anne Payne (1:59.42) is already entered.

Women’s 200 metres Back stroke

Former European Champion Lizzie Simmonds won the first selection trials and booked her place for London 2012. The remaining spot is likely to be filled by either Steph Proud (2:08.91) or Georgia Hohmann (2:09.71), both of whom have swum significantly faster than the ‘A’ standard (2:10.84).

For further information, check out the official website for the British Gas ASA National Championships. Action takes place from 20nd to 23rd June.