Swimmers swing into World Champs action

02 December 2014

Swimmers Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Chris Walker-Hebborn will be looking to end their medal-laden 2014s on a high when they represent the British Gas GBR Swimming team at this week’s FINA World Championships (25m) in Doha.

The duo, who are coached by Dave McNulty and Graeme Antwhistle at the British Gas GBR National Centre Bath, are part of a select, 11-strong team, boasting ten Commonwealth and six European titles between them.

O’Connor, who turned 19 last weekend, won six medals at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games including the 200m individual medley title in the world’s fastest time this year.

Walker-Hebborn, meanwhile, won 100m backstroke and 4x100m medley relay gold at both the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships in Berlin, where he was also part of Britain’s victorious 4x100m mixed medley relay team.

British Swimming head coach Bill Furniss, who will lead the team in Doha, said: “We’ve had a good year with some strong performances and I’m looking forward to finishing it off at these short-course World Championships.

“It isn’t a benchmark event for us but I think any opportunity to race against the best in the world shouldn’t be wasted. We will use it as a stepping stone to next year’s long-course World Championships and will specifically look at our starts, turns and finishes to see where improvements can be made.

“The team’s main focus will be to practice the processes we’ve targeted ahead of next year. As we continue to improve as a nation this has to be our motivation rather than the outcome.

“All athletes will be in different stages of preparation. There will also be a number of short-course specialist swimmers while others, such as the British contingent, will go into the event off the back of a hard block of training and preparation for next year.”

The action gets under way at the Hamad Aquatic Centre on Wednesday (December 3) and will continue for five days.

The British Gas GBR Swimming team comprises:

Adam Barrett – British Gas GBR National Centre, Loughborough.

James Guy – Millfield.

Adam Peaty – City of Derby.

Ben Proud – Plymouth Leander.

Chris Walker-Hebborn – British Gas GBR National Centre, Bath.

Jazz Carlin – Swansea Performance Centre.

Georgia Davies – British Gas GBR National Centre, Loughborough.

Fran Halsall – British Gas GBR National Centre, Loughborough.

Hannah Miley – Garioch.

Siobhan Marie O’Connor – British Gas GBR National Centre, Bath.

Sophie Taylor – City of Leeds.

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