Eight swimmers from Yorkshire are among a squad of 39 selected to represent Team England at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast of Australia in April.
Two-time Commonwealth silver medallist Aimee Willmott from Middlesbrough was the star name of the second tranche of swimmers named to the team yesterday.
She will be joined by York’s James Wilby, Doncaster’s Jarvis Parkinson and two swimmers from the City of Sheffield club, Rosie Rudin and Joe Litchfield.
Pontefract’s Litchfield will join his brother Max out in Australia, with the latter hoping to go at least one better than the fourth place he achieved in finals at the Rio Olympics and Budapest world championships in the last 18 months.
Max Litchfield was named in the first round of selections back in October, alongside another Sheffield swimmer in London 2012 Olympian Eleanor Faulkner and Beverley’s Lizzie Simmonds, the two-time Olympian who is back at a major meet despite losing funding prior to the Rio Games.
This will be Willmott’s third Commonwealth Games, having won two silvers in Glasgow four years ago. She booked her place on the basis of her performance at the Swim England National Winter Championships in Sheffield, where she won 400m individual medley gold within the selection time.
The Commonwealth Games is always an enjoyable experience. Glasgow 2014 was the first international meet that I competed in. It’s good to get some experience and race against great guys.James Wilby
Willmott said: “My first memories of senior swimming were at the Commonwealth Games. I swam in Delhi and I was one of the youngest on the team and this time round I’ll be one of the oldest on the team.
“It’s a great environment for more swimmers from England to make the team and get that experience – that’s one of the great things about the Commonwealths.”
Wilby, a 4x100m medley gold medallist at Glasgow 2014, added: “The Commonwealth Games is always an enjoyable experience. Glasgow 2014 was the first international meet that I competed in. It’s good to get some experience and race against great guys.”
Team England’s squad is headlined by world champion Adam Peaty.