Swimmer Holly Hibbott picked for World Championships

Holly Hibbott and Sean Kelly
Holly Hibbott and Sean Kelly

A teenager from Life Leisure’s Stockport Metro Swimming programme has been selected for this year’s FINA World Championships in Budapest.

Stockport’s Holly Hibbott secured her place on the team following a successful appearance at the recent British Swimming Championships in Sheffield.

The 17-year old won gold in the 400m freestyle, knocking two seconds off her personal best to beat Olympic silver medallist Jazz Carlin.

Holly also won silver in the 800m freestyle, this time narrowly missing out to Carlin.

Stockport Metro performance director Sean Kelly said: “Holly pulled out all the stops to win her first national title as a senior – to beat Olympic medallist Jazz Carlin was really something.

“She’s got huge potential and this selection will really boost here confidence. Together with her other wins in 2017, Holly has really had a great start to the season.”

Olympic champion

Holly will join 28 other swimmers, including Olympic champion Adam Peaty and Olympic medallists Jazz Carlin, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, James Guy, Duncan Scott, Stephen Milne and Chris Walker-Hebborn, at the World Championships in July.

Earlier this year, Holly was selected for the British Swimming’s Podium Potential programme – which offers specialist training to athletes with the potential to win medals at the Tokyo games in 2020. The 17-year old then went on to represent team GB

at the Austin leg of the USA Grand Prix and the Speedo Flanders Cup in Belgium where she won gold in the 200m butterfly event.

Through a scheme organised by Life Leisure’s Stockport Metro, Holly has also recently attended a three weeks altitude training camp with the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

Holly said: “I’ve had a really good block of training leading into this. I hoped for a personal best and I knew I had it in me so I’m really happy with the result. I knew I wanted to do well this year so I’ve trained really hard and done everything I can.

British Swimming Championships

The British Swimming Championships in Sheffield also saw Stockport Metro swimmers qualify for the European Junior Swimming Championships in Netanya, Israel, and the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Indianapolis, USA.

Elizabeth Harris and Oliver Crosby qualified for the European Juniors in the 100/200m freestyle and 100m breaststroke respectively, while Harrison Coulter – long-term Stockport Metro swimmer and cousin of Olympian James Goddard – qualified for the World Juniors in the 200/400/1500m freestyle events.

Kelly added: “Richard Blackshaw and the whole coaching team have done a fantastic job in helping our swimmers deliver such great performances. What’s really great though, is that we know they can achieve even more.

“It is very exciting that our up-and-coming young stars will be representing their country at these world and European events, and over the next few months we’ll be working even harder to make sure they put in great times and hopefully secure podium places.”