Bath swimmers to battle for Commonwealth berths

09 April 2014

University of Bath-based swimmers will be out in force this week as the battle for places on England’s team for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games gets underway.

The University is home to British Swimming’s National Centre for Swimming, where some of the country’s top swimmers train.

The competition for places on the Scottish team got underway at last week’s Scottish Gas National Open Swimming Championships. Attention now turns to the British Gas Swimming Championships, which begin tomorrow (Thursday 10 April) and run to 15 April and are part of the selection processes for both the England and Scotland teams for Glasgow 2014.

The championships takes place at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow, which also hosts the swimming at this summer’s Commonwealth Games.

Bath-based swimmers will be among 600 athletes taking part in the championships.

The opening day of action includes the 200m breaststroke final, where Bath swimmers Andrew Willis (above right) and Michael Jamieson will be looking to perform well.

It’s a big event for University of Bath Chemical Engineering student Willis, who was edged out of the medals in fourth place by just five-hundredths of a second swimming for England in the 200m breaststroke final at the Delhi Commonwealth Games four years ago.

Defending British champion Michael Jamieson, who trains with Willis at the National Centre for Swimming, has already achieved the Scotland qualifying time for both the 100m and 200m breaststroke at the Scottish National Championships.

Eighteen-year-old Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (above right), who competed at the London 2012 Olympics, will be looking to book a Commonwealth berth for her favourite event, the 200m individual medley. The competition will include her training partner and defending champion Sophie Allen.  Allen also won the 100m breaststroke title last year.

Chris Walker-Hebborn (right) has the best British 50m backstroke time of 2014 going into the championships. He goes to Glasgow aiming to defend the 100m backstroke British Championships title he won last time around and book a place on the England team for Glasgow 2014. He was fourth in the 200m backstroke in Delhi.

In the women’s backstroke events, Lizzie Simmonds goes to Glasgow with an impressive track record over 200m, having won five titles in the last six years.

National Centre for Swimming athletes are coached by Dave McNulty and Graeme Antwhistle.

Tilly Gray, coached by Mark Skimming, the University of Bath’s head swimming coach, will look to put in a strong performance in the 100m butterfly where rivals include Bath swimmers Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and defending champion Jemma Lowe, who has already been selected to represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games.

Meanwhile Stephanie Millward, who trains with the Aquae Sulis Swimming Club at the University of Bath and won two medals at Delhi 2010 Commonwealths, is aiming to secure a place on the England team for Glasgow in the SM10 200m individual medley.

For more information about the British Championships, including a full schedule, go to

A live stream of all the action can be viewed on the British Gas Swimming Championships website.

Recently, Jemma Lowe told Team Bath TV all about her hopes for the Commonwealth Games and we caught up with fellow swimmer Andrew Willis earlier in the year.

For further information please contact the Team Bath press office at Matchtight Ltd on 01225 383518.

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