Road To Rio 2016: Rising star Georgia Coates rewarded with GB spot after great year

Georgia Coates.
Georgia Coates.
0
Have your say

RISING City of Leeds Swimming Club star Georgia Coates has been named as the youngest member of a 26-strong Great Britain swimming team for the Rio Olympics.

The 17-year-old enjoyed a superb 2015 which featured a silver in the World Junior Championships 400m individual medley, bronze in the 200m version and five medals at the European Games.

Sheffield's Max Litchfield is going to his first Olympics

Sheffield's Max Litchfield is going to his first Olympics

And now the teenager has earned selection for the biggest stage of all after team members were selected following their performances at last week’s British Championships in Glasgow.

Coates will be joined in battle by two City of Sheffield swimmers in 21-year-old new national champion Max Litchfield and 23-year-old Eleanor Faulkner, plus 23-year-old Middlesbrough star Aimee Willmott, another British champion, who represents London Aquatic Centre.

Litchfield clinched gold in the men’s 400m individual medley at the British Championships, which double as Great Britain’s Olympic trials.

Willmott, who competed at the 2012 Olympics, finishing 11th in the 400m individual medley, won the Women’s Open 200m butterfly last week.

Commonwealth bronze medal winner Ellie Faulkner of the City of Sheffield Swimming Club is heading to her second Olympics.

Commonwealth bronze medal winner Ellie Faulkner of the City of Sheffield Swimming Club is heading to her second Olympics.

The 26-strong GB team is headed by world and European champion Adam Peaty, plus fellow Olympic debutants James Guy and Jazz Carlin.

The likes of Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, Andrew Willis and Hannah Miley, meanwhile, all return after featuring at London 2012. Team members were selected following their performances at last week’s British Championships.

“What we have is a focused, well-balanced team with some very exciting young prospects,” said Chris Spice, GB swimming team leader for Rio.

“The team has been refreshed as a result of a series of great performances from some of our Podium Potential youngsters – Chloe Tutton, Cameron Kurle, Molly Renshaw, Craig Benson, Georgia Coates and Max Litchfield, who all produced stunning performances to upset their more senior rivals and make the Olympic team.

Middlesbrough's Aimee Willmott is bound for Rio.

Middlesbrough's Aimee Willmott is bound for Rio.

“But perhaps the swim of the championships came from 18-year-old Tim Shuttleworth in the 1,500m freestyle, when he had the Glasgow crowd on its feet. “The challenge for everyone is to move our performances on between now and the summer.

“Athletes have done a good job to make the team, but our primary focus is to improve performances in Rio, and we will leave no stone unturned in pursuit of this.”

Miley, who is heading for her third Olympics, beamed: “It’s quite hard to put into words what it feels like to be selected for my third Olympics. I still love my sport as much as I’ve always done and to reach my third Olympics just highlights the dedication that me and my family have put into the sport.

“It’s another fantastic opportunity to put myself out there against the very best in the world – in the biggest event in the world – and hopefully I can come out on top.”

GB swimming team for Rio Olympics: James Guy, Adam Peaty, Max Litchfield, Jazz Carlin, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, Andrew Willis, Hannah Miley, Ben Proud, Chloe Tutton, Ross Murdoch, Stephen Milne, Robbie Renwick, Duncan Scott, Craig Benson, Fran Halsall, Molly Renshaw, Chris Walker-Hebborn, Tim Shuttleworth, Aimee Willmott, Eleanor Faulkner, Georgia Coates, Camilla Hattersley, Georgia Davies, Cameron Kurle, Ieuan Lloyd, Daniel Wallace.