Euros a ‘stepping-stone’ to Rio

Adam Peaty

Adam Peaty is the 100m breaststroke world record holder

Britain’s 26-strong Olympic squad will use this week’s European Championships in London to fine-tune their preparations for Rio 2016.

World champions Adam Peaty and James Guy, and Commonwealth gold medallist Jazz Carlin, are among those expected to challenge for honours.

However, the squad will continue intense training throughout the event.

“It’s all about reaching peak performance in Rio,” Peaty told BBC Sport.

“If you want the greatest return at the Olympics, then you have to make sacrifices, which could be medals [at the Euros], so it’s a stepping stone to Rio.”

The 100m breaststroke world record holder continued: “Some countries will be fast as they’re using the event for Olympic trials, but Britain is never a country to let others just have it, so we’ll fight as hard as possible to medal.”

As well as the established names – including soon-to-be three-time Olympians Francesca Halsall, Hannah Miley and Ross Davenport – the team also features GB debutants Chloe Tutton, Tim Shuttleworth and Max Litchfield.

The trio were among those to impress at last month’s British Olympic trials in Glasgow.

“Athletes have done a good job to make the team, but the challenge for everyone is to move our performances on between now and the summer,” said GB performance director Chris Spice.


Fran Halsall says she is “in a good place” ahead of the Euros

Halsall herself failed to hit the automatic qualification mark at the event, but was within the 2% secondary standard margin, which saw her earn a Team GB call-up.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself and when I try too hard to swim fast, I don’t,” she said.

“We know we’re not going to be at around 100% best because we’re not rested, but we all want to enjoy it and that means swimming well, and I’m feeling in a good place now.”

In addition to the British Olympic swimming squad, GB have also named 16 development swimmers who will compete in the event.

The teams are being kept apart, with the hope that the younger athletes will use the experience to help boost their chances of reaching the 2020 Tokyo Games.

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