Swimming: Peaty aiming to make a splash for GB in Belgium
ADAM Peaty will travel to Belgium this weekend as part of a strong Great Britain swimming squad for the first major international of the year.
The former Painsley Catholic College student has been named in a team of 48 who will contest the Flanders Cup in Antwerp.
The 18-year-old, who is from Uttoxeter, will be accompanied by his head coach at City of Derby swimming club, Mel Marshall, who will act as a member of the Team GB backroom staff.
The swimmers for the two-day event are predominantly on British Swimming's development programme.
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However, experience will be provided by Olympians Liam Tancock, Fran Halsall and Amy Smith, who are part of the national sprint group under coach James Gibson. The event provides an opportunity to shine in preparation for the British International Open in March.
That competition, to be staged in Leeds, takes the place on the calendar of the British Championships, which have now been moved to June as part of the review carried out by British Swimming in the wake of the disappointing performances at the London Olympics.
The plan is that the British Championships, which double as selection trials and will be staged at Ponds Forge in Sheffield, will take place closer to major events, with the main focus this year being the World Championships in Barcelona in late July.
Breaststroke specialist Peaty, who swam at the European Junior Championships, made his full GB team debut at the FINA World Cup events in Japan and Singapore in November.
Ciaran O'Brien, team leader for the event, said: "The Flanders Cup will provide a quality racing opportunity against an international field, including some World Class competitors.
"We are travelling with a large team who will take a no compromise approach.
"We want to maximise the benefits of racing tough at this stage of the season as part of the preparation for opportunities that lie later in the year and throughout the cycle to Rio 2016."