Adam Peaty is among the first four swimmers to be confirmed in the Great Britain team for this summer’s re-scheduled Tokyo Olympics.
The defending champion and world-record holder is joined by Duncan Scott, James Wilby and Luke Greenbank in qualifying for the Games as a direct consequence of a change in British Swimming’s selection policy.
All four have booked their tickets to the Japanese capital by virtue of having won individual medals at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju.
Nevertheless the announcement is a timely one for the BOA, in a week in which the staging of the Games has once again been questioned, and an increasing number of athletes are seeking reassurances.
BOA Chef de Mission Mark England said: “We hope that this confirmation provides clarity and focus for this hugely talented group of swimmers as they continue their preparation for the Olympic Games.
“The mix of Olympic debutants and Olympic medallists within this group is extremely exciting and we know that their performances will uplift and inspire the nation this summer.”
The first 4⃣ swimmers have been selected to represent @TeamGB at @Tokyo2020 🎉🙌@adam_peaty, @Dunks_Scott, @lukegreenbank97 & @jameswilby have all secured an early spot on the plane due to individual medal successes at the 2019 World Aquatics Champs ✈️https://t.co/COJVXtf1pA
— British Swimming (@britishswimming) January 20, 2021
The selection of Peaty, who stormed to the 100m breaststroke title and currently boasts eight world gold medals to his name, was clearly never in question.
The 26-year-old expressed his delight and said he was “very hopeful” he would get the opportunity to defend his title in Tokyo, which is currently under a State of Emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Peaty said: “I’m very happy to make the Olympic team – it’s always a huge pride and honour to represent my country in what I do best.
“Hopefully over the next few months we can come together even more as a country, back the full Olympic team, and we can come back from Tokyo with a very successful performance behind us.
“There is a lot of work to do from now until then, but I’m very hopeful the Olympics will go ahead and it’ll see continued success for Team GB.”
Glasgow-born Scott, who won two relay silver medals in Rio at the age of 19, earned his place in the team for Tokyo by virtue of his bronze medal in the 200m freestyle in Gwangju.
Scott originally finished joint fourth in the race but was upgraded to a share of bronze following the disqualification of first-place finisher Danas Rapsys for a false start.
Scott said: “I loved every second of Rio; the way that the team swam but then also being a part of the bigger team and being part of Team GB, it was a great experience and one that I really wanted to have again.
“So I’m delighted to be selected, especially after the last year or so that we’ve had, with so many unknowns – it’s great to get this.”
Wilby, who won a 100m breaststroke silver to seal his selection, and Greenbank, who earned bronze in the 200m backstroke, will make their respective debuts at the Games.