“I always feel proud to compete for my country but competing for ParalympicsGB is something even more special.”
Paralympics GB have named the 31 swimmers who will compete for Great Britain at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, including Ollie Hynd who recently returned with three gold medals from the IPC Swimming European Open Championships to ensure he is one of the few athletes in history to hold Paralympic, World, European and Commonwealth titles at the same time.
Hynd is joined on the team by a formidable list of Paralympic multi-medallists including Ellie Simmonds, Charlotte Henshaw, James Crisp, Claire Cashmore and Sascha Kindred.
Speaking at the team announcement on Monday (16 May), Hynd commented: “I am so proud to be selected for Rio for ParalympicsGB, it is such an honour. The competition is getting tougher every time I get in the water but I know how hard I’ve been training so I can only be confident in my preparations. Rio will be an amazing experience.”
Also selected today was Ellie Simmonds, a household name in Great Britain following her incredible performances at Beijing in 2008 and at London 2012.
She said: “It is finally sinking in that I will be going to my third Paralympic Games, and I am so excited. The Paralympic Games is the biggest stage in the world to compete on and I can’t wait for the challenge.”
Charlotte Henshaw, one of the faces of the ‘Supercharge ParalympicsGB’ campaign to galvanise public support for the team, is already a veteran of two Paralympic Games. She said: “I always feel proud to compete for my country but competing for ParalympicsGB is something even more special. I would love to see the public get behind us as we go through our final training and preparations for Rio, and I’d urge people to get involved in the Supercharge campaign.”
Amongst the team there are also some new faces who look set to win medals in Rio. These include 12-year-old Abby Kane, who swept to a British record of 1.11.19 in the 100m backstroke S13 at the Para swimming trials, Stephen Clegg, brother of track sprinter Libby Clegg and London 2012 swimming medallist James, and 14 year old Ellie Robinson, who took up swimming after watching her now-teammate Ellie Simmonds compete in London.
Penny Briscoe MBE, ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission for Rio 2016, said:
“I am really excited to announce the swimming team for ParalympicsGB today. This is historically a major medal sport for the team. Recent world and European competitions suggest that we could be looking at a big medal haul once again. Their performances at the recent European Championships have demonstrated the strength in depth that we have in this team and how exceptional these athletes are.
“The pool is one of the many places where competition at every Games just keeps getting tougher and it is going to be a real battleground for our athletes again in Rio. I can’t wait to watch them compete and cheer them on.
“I wholeheartedly congratulate them on their individual achievements to reach this stage of being selected for ParalympicsGB and wish them luck in their final preparations.”
British Para-Swimming National Performance Director Chris Furber believes that this team is a reflection on the hard work undertaken by the programme over the last two years.
“We have an exciting and capable team selected for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games,” Furber said.
“At British Para-Swimming we have work consistently on increasing the standards of our team which is reflected in the selection process and it’s a real positive to see 25 athletes achieving the time outright.
“We had an excellent trials that saw not only our experienced athletes stepping up but also 14 debutants fighting for and deserving their place on the team as well.
“The athletes know that the hard work doesn’t end at selection and I am confident that every one of them will go back and focus on achieving the necessary gains in their training and be ready to perform at their best in Rio.”
British Para-Swimming Head Coach Rob Greenwood said: “Over the last two and a half years the selection criteria that has been put in place has been challenging. This year’s selection policy was very similar to the one for last year’s World Championships where we had 14 outright qualifiers whereas this year we have had 25 and selected 31 athletes.
“Last year we created a clear ethos for the team and that has led to athletes really aspiring to be part of that. It’s a really focused group of athletes and there is no complacency at all in terms of being selected and job done. There is a focus around going to the Games and delivering life time best performances.”
Today’s announcement brings the number of selected athletes to a total of 81, across the sports of sailing, judo, table tennis, powerlifting, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball (women’s) and swimming.
Selected athletes (swimming):
The athletes above gained selection after they achieved the nomination standard at the British Para-Swimming International Meet 2016 as per the selection policy.
The athletes above gained selection after they achieved a time within 2 per cent of the set benchmark time included within the selection policy (individual).
The athlete above gained selection at the discretion of the National Performance Director as per the selection policy.
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).
The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.
Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.