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SWIMMERS SELECTED TO TEAM GB FOR YOUTH OLYMPICS
An elite squad of 16 young swimmers has been selected by the British Olympic Association (BOA) to represent Team GB at this summer's European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF).
Swimming has a strong tradition as part of Team GB's EYOF campaigns of the past with athletes such as 2004 Olympic swimming bronze medallist David Davies and 2006 Commonwealth Games swimming gold medallist Liam Tancock previously gracing the stage.
The EYOF will provide the young athletes with first-class international competition as well as an ideal opportunity for future Olympians to gain first-hand knowledge and experience of a multi-sport event.
Leading the swimming contingent will be Head Coach Jon Rudd (Plymouth Leander) who is delighted with the make-up of the squad.
"The swimming team is as strong as we could possibly hope for," said Rudd. "Everyone is fit, enjoying a good preparation and looking forward to being part of Team GB.
"I'm particularly looking forward to seeing how the swimmers and staff deal with an Olympic village and a multi-sport event as opposed to competing at a meet where swimming is the only focus.
"We'll be in a situation with a number of other sports involving more than two thousand athletes from 48 countries and that in itself will be a challenge but an enjoyable one. It will be a great experience for the athletes and will be ideal preparation for Olympics of the future."
Mark England, Team GB's EYOF Chef de Mission, said: "Several of the British athletes selected for Belgrade are hopefuls for 2012 and we know how valuable it is for an athlete competing in an Olympic Games to have experienced a multi-sport environment and to have lived in an Olympic Village.
"The European Youth Olympic Festival is a perfect opportunity for our young athletes to experience this. The squad is a strong one and I am confident that we will be coming back with many medals."
A total of 2,196 athletes from 48 countries will take part in 11 sports between 21st and 28th July in the Serbian capital of Belgrade.
Swimming takes place at the Tasmajdan Sports Centre on 23, 24, 26 and 27 July.
The Female Athletes selected by the BOA are:
Aimee Wilmott (Middlesbrough)
Emma Graham (City of Leeds)
Jessica Thielmann (City of Newcastle)
Lucy Ellis (Dunfermline)
Sara Lougher (Bridgend)
Sophie Ward (Gallica)
Stephanie King (Bexley)
For further details contact Dave Richards, British Swimming Media Manager, on 01509 632237, 0778 992 6136 or email [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>