Great Britain Trio Of European Champions Back To ‘Attack’ Titles In Budapest Next Month At Helm Of 40-Strong Squad

2021-04-29 Reading Time: 6 minutes
Duncan Scott 9top), Adam Peaty (bottom left) and Ben Proud: three Big Beasts Of Great Britain heading into battle to keep their European crowns of 2018 - Scott and Peaty by Georgie Kerr, courtesy of British Swimming; Proud by Patrick B. Kraemer

A Great Britain team of 40 will head to European Championships in Budapest next month with its Olympic team and the three big-beast continental champions of 2018 at the helm back on the attack, as Rio 2016 champion Adam Peaty likes to put it, for titles.

Peaty, in the 50 and 100m breaststroke, Ben Proud, in the 50m freestyle, and Duncan Scott, in the 200m freestyle will rise to their blocks at the Duna Arena between May 17 and 23 in the second bubble of Budapest they’ve been in in the past year as part of their preparations for the Covid-delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Duncan Scott – by Georgie Kerr, courtesy of British Swimming

Great Britain Swimming Team For Budapest 2021 European Championships

Great Britain’s crew of gold medallists from the 2018 European Championships now heading back to the continental showcase on the way to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in 2021 – images courtesy of Georgie Kerr for British Swimming

The Great Britain team includes Adam Peaty, who will “attack”, as he describes defending, the 50 and 100m breaststroke titles, Ben Proud, the 50m freestyle champion of Glasgow 2018, Duncan Scott, the 200m freestyle champion of 2018, and six others who claimed gold medals in Glasgow three years ago.

There is one name missing from the roster who will not be able to defend her European title: Georgia Davies, gold medallist in the 50m backstroke in 2018, but off her best form at Olympic trials on 1:00.01 for third place behind Kathleen Dawson and Cassie Wild, the University of Stirling teammates who got inside the Tokyo target time, Dawson on 58.24, a European textile best and just outside the European record held since 2009 by Britain’s World champion that year, Gemma Spofforth.

There is also no place for Cameron Kurle, the only man in the fastest domestic 200m freestyle race ever seen in textile suits, all nations, not to get a place on the Tokyo Olympic team: he was sixth in the final, one place shy of the reserve slot ahead of Joe and Max Litchfield, who made the cut for the Games in medley events.

The Britain team includes 25 swimmers from England, 9 from Scotland and 6 from Wales.

Although many events are sealed, by virtue of two swimmers racing inside Tokyo target time at Trials easier this month, the European showcase will provide the penultimate chance for others to add their names to the 28-strong Great Britain swim team announced on Tuesday.

Among those who could make the team, for relays as well as solo events are: Elliot Clogg Evelyn Davis Holly Hibbott , Lucy Hope_, Emily Large, Keanna MacInnes James McFadzen Ed Mildred , Emma Russell, Katie Shanahan_, Laura Stephens and Tamryn Van Selm.

The last events at which British swimmers can qualify for the Covid-delayed Tokyo Olympics will be the Glasgow Swim Meet, now shifted to new dates, on June 3-6.

The Budapest showcase will be held in “Bubble” conditions similar to those in place at the same venue last year when the International Swim League stage its Solidarity Camp and the only global elite swim gathering of the first season of Covid-19.

The British Swimming Team Announcement:

Britain’s Tokyo-bound swimmers will step up their preparations for the Olympic Games in competitive style at next month’s European Aquatics Championships in Budapest. 

Two days after 24 athletes had their names added to the list that will be representing Team GB on the biggest sporting stage later this year, British Swimming can confirm that all of the Olympic team selected thus far will head to Hungary’s Duna Arena, with the swimming schedule for the multi-discipline Championships running from 17th-23rd May. 

That cohort includes Duncan Scott, James Wilby, Luke Greenbank and reigning Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth champion Adam Peaty, who were already pre-selected. 

The Europeans will provide a chance for the soon-to-be Olympic class of 2021 to further hone their arena skills and build on important training work. The Budapest meet is also another key qualification opportunity for those who narrowly missed out at the recent British Swimming Selection Trials and will also offer an opportunity for some of the younger names to gain vital major competition experience with Paris 2024 only three years away. A further 12 swimmers have been included, in addition to the Olympic squad, meaning a 40-strong swimming team will board the plane to Budapest.

On top of that, marathon swimmers Hector Pardoe, Toby Robinson and Emily Clarke will take their place in the squad to compete in the marathon swimming events as part of the Championships. 

With international racing opportunities so limited over the past year, National Performance Director Chris Spice is looking forward to seeing British athletes back in the water alongside top-class rivals from across the continent. 

“This event comes at an opportune moment as we step up our final preparations for Tokyo, bringing the team together for the first time since our announcement on Tuesday,” he said. 

“Whilst we have enjoyed the experience of domestic racing with the recent Selection Trials and the two meets in Manchester before that, this will be our first time back in international competition in over a year. This will be another big step forward, and we fully support and thank LEN and our fellow European national teams for committing to this important racing opportunity. We are confident that the protocols and guidance will be in place to ensure the safest possible environment for our athletes, coaches and support staff. 

The European Championships are also another important element in our Olympic selection policy, so the week of racing will be an opportunity for some athletes to put in the performances they need to and that we know they are capable of. It is also a key chance to test out our relay squads and seek Olympic qualification where necessary, whilst for the younger members of the squad, it will be a valuable learning experience on their journey into Paris 2024 and beyond.”

Chris Spice – Image – Molly Renshaw, by Georgie Kerr, courtesy of British Swimming

Among those who will be looking to catch the eye in Budapest after memorable performances at the London Aquatics Centre earlier this month will be Molly Renshaw – who smashed the British record in the Women’s 200m Breaststroke – and two-time European champion Ben Proud, following a stunning return to action in the Men’s 50m Freestyle. 

As ever, Britain’s athletes will look to challenge across the programme – and their displays in the Men’s 200m Freestyle will again be monitored closely by rivals from across the world after the jaw-dropping quality on show recently. 

Given the selections already made to the Olympic team, qualification quotas are already filled in the following events: 


  • 100m Freestyle; 100m Backstroke; 100m Breaststroke; 200m Breaststroke; 200m Individual Medley


  • 100m Freestyle; 200m Freestyle; 100m Breaststroke; 200m Breaststroke; 100m Butterfly; 200m Individual Medley; 400m Individual Medley 

We would also like to advise that, due to ever-changing COVID circumstances, the final Olympic consideration meet will now be called the ‘Glasgow Swim Meet’. The dates have shifted to 3rd-6th June, and the meet will have evening heats and morning finals. Information regarding this meet will be published on the British Swimming website from 3rd May, with entries opening for a limited period the following day (4th May). 

British Swimming team selected to compete at the LEN European Championships in Budapest, Hungary (17th-23rd May)

Olympic-qualified athletes – colours indicate best medal, Gold, Silver, Bronze earned at Glasgow 2018 Europeans, including relays, marked with (R) or (Rh) for relays heats at end of each line

  • Freya Anderson – England, Bath National Centre (R)
  • Kieran Bird – Wales, Bath National Centre
  • Kathleen Dawson – Scotland, University of Stirling (Rh)
  • Tom Dean – England, Bath National Centre (R)
  • Luke Greenbank – England, Loughborough National Centre
  • James Guy – England, Bath National Centre (R) – (Bronze, 100m butterfly)
  • Anna Hopkin – England, Loughborough National Centre
  • Calum Jarvis – Wales, Bath National Centre (R)
  • Dan Jervis – Wales, Swansea University
  • Harriet Jones – Wales, City of Cardiff
  • Joe Litchfield – England, Loughborough National Centre
  • Max Litchfield – England, Loughborough National Centre (silver 400IM, bronze, 200IM)
  • Ross Murdoch – Scotland, University of Stirling
  • Adam Peaty – England, Loughborough National Centre  (R) (Gold, 50/100m breaststroke)
  • Jacob Peters – England, Bath National Centre (Rh)
  • Ben Proud – England, Bath University (Gold, 50m freestyle)
  • Molly Renshaw – England, Loughborough National Centre (bronze, 200m breaststroke)
  • Matthew Richards – Wales, Bath National Centre
  • Duncan Scott – Scotland, University of Stirling (R) (Gold, 200m freestyle)
  • Alys Thomas – Wales, Swansea University (R) (bronze, 200m butterfly)
  • Sarah Vasey – England, Loughborough National Centre
  • Jacob Whittle – England, Derventio Excel
  • James Wilby – England, Loughborough National Centre (Rh) (Silver 100, 200m breaststroke)
  • Cassie Wild – Scotland, University of Stirling
  • Brodie Williams – England, Bath National Centre (Rh)
  • Aimee Willmott – England, University of Stirling
  • Alicia Wilson – England, Guildford City
  • Abbie Wood – England, Loughborough National Centre

European athletes

  • Elliot Clogg – England, Loughborough National Centre
  • Evelyn Davis – Scotland, Bromley
  • Holly Hibbott – England, Bath National Centre (Rh) (Bronze, 400m freestyle)
  • Lucy Hope – Scotland, Edinburgh University (Rh)
  • Emily Large – England, Bath National Centre
  • Keanna MacInnes – Scotland, University of Stirling
  • James McFadzen – England, Loughborough University
  • Ed Mildred – England, Northampton SC
  • Emma Russell – Scotland, University of Stirling 
  • Katie Shanahan – Scotland, City of Glasgow SC
  • Laura Stephens – England, Plymouth Leander
  • Tamryn Van Selm – England, Millfield 

European marathon swimming athletes 

  • Emily Clarke – England, Loughborough University
  • Hector Pardoe – England, Ellesmere College Titans
  • Toby Robinson – England, Loughborough National Centre
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