Ponds Forge stars lead British team

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British Swimming national performance director Michael Scott has described the team bound for next month’s FINA World Championships in Shanghai (July 16 to 31) as “one of the most competitive British teams ever assembled”.

Forty athletes have been selected and will finalise preparations at a holding camp in Osaka, Japan, before arriving in Shanghai.

Double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington, from Mansfield, and Commonwealth champion and World Championship silver medallist Fran Halsall will lead the challenge for the women while double Commonwealth champion James Goddard and world champion Liam Tancock head up the men’s contingent. The team includes Rebecca Turner (City of Sheffield.)

It also features several swimmers - the likes of Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, Molly Renshaw, Joshua Walsh and Jak Scott - who have put themselves in contention with impressive performances at last week’s British Gas ASA National Championships at Ponds Forge, Sheffield.

“I believe we have one of the most competitive British teams ever assembled,” said Scott. “There will be some big challenges ahead but the squad has real talent and strength and is best placed to overcome these.

“It’s a healthy mix of experienced performers on the world stage as well as a group of exciting youngsters.”