ROYTON swimmer Jessica Fullalove is celebrating after being named in British Swimming’s 25-strong team for this summer’s FINA World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, taking place from July 12-18.
With Tokyo 2020 also only 15 months away this is a great opportunity for the former Thorp Primary and Crompton House School pupil to stake her claim for an Olympic Games debut.
Jessica, now based at the National Training Centre in Bath, represented Team England at last year’s Commonwealth Games.
She was also selected in the GB squad for the 2019 European Championships in Glasgow only to break her hand in a freak accident during a training camp in Majorca.
The 22-year-old, however, made a full recovery and produced some impressive performances at last month’s British Championships which doubled up as a World Championship trial.
She took a silver medal behind Georgia Davis in the women’s open 100 metres backstroke before performing superbly to win the women’s 200m open backstroke title from City of Manchester Aquatics’ Chloe Golding.
Fullalove set her stall out over the first length of the pool, pushing on all the way as she chased the swim of her life, which she truly delivered going inside 2.10 for the first time.
“I’ve had two years of injury and upset, so I’m just so glad that it’s finally happened for me.
“You really don’t understand how much it means to me. I’m actually quite emotional; the period of time where I’ve had to deal with my injuries has been so hard for me, so I’m just so proud of myself.”
Jessica’s team mates in the Far East will include defending world champions Adam Peaty, Ben Proud, Duncan Scott, Calum Jarvis and James Guy.
Commenting on the selections British Swimming national performance director, Chris Spice, said:
“We had another great British Championships in Glasgow where we saw some exceptional individual performances from our established group of senior swimmers.
“The selectors were also pleased to see that some younger athletes have grabbed the opportunity that we gave them at last year’s Europeans to step up and make this team.
“We saw superb lifetime bests from Luke Greenbank, Tom Dean, Anna Hopkin and Jess Fullalove, that really built on those performances from last year.
“As we look towards Tokyo, the challenge now for the whole team is to move this on in the summer and swim a season’s best under the spotlights in Gwangju.”
With a top 12 finish in relay events securing a spot at next summer’s Olympic Games, Spice added:
“In terms of our discretionary selections, this year a key consideration was the need to qualify our relays for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, while resting those relay athletes that could have large schedules in Gwangju.
“Now that the team is finalised we will head to a team preparation camp in June, with all athletes and staff getting together for two legs of the Mare Nostrum series in Canet and Barcelona.
“We have also been fortunate to secure our pre-World’s holding camp in Yokohama this year, which will also form a dress rehearsal for our preparations for Tokyo 2020.”
• Jessica becomes the second former Crompton House pupil selected for a world championship in 2019 after Matt Walls competed for Great Britain at the Track Worlds in Poland last March.
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