Three of Team GB's 4x100m men's freestyle gold medal winning team from the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing are among a select group of young swimmers heading to the Far East next month.
Eight of Britain’s brightest talents will travel to Japan as part of the Tokyo 2020 (2TP) Project where they will train with their hosts’ national squads while acclimatising to the environment and culture in order to try and enhance medal prospects at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The overriding essence of 2TP is one of partnership and as such both junior and senior swimmers from both nations will train together at camps in Japan and Britain through to the Tokyo Olympics and beyond.
The British contingent will include Youth Olympic and European Junior medallists such as Luke Greenbank and Georgia Cotes.
"We're trying to accelerate the development of athletes we expect to be in their prime by 2020," said Tim Jones, British Swimming Head of Performance Pathway who will lead the groups to Suzuka for the boys and Shizuoka for the girls.
"The intention is to expose swimmers, coaches and staff to a very different environment. The culture within is something you have to be comfortable with and that is part of the point and purpose of what we’re now setting out to do on 2TP.
“The quality of youth swimming in Japan is beyond anything in comparison with the rest of the world, except perhaps the USA. They work harder and for longer hours than we do from a younger age - because of their education system - so there will be things we can learn.”
Greenbank, who was part of the men's team who won 4x100m Freestyle gold at the Nanjing Youth Olympics this summer, is excited by the opportunity.
"It's great to be able to get more experience out in that part of the world where the conditions - as I learnt in China - are so different to home," he said.
Team-mate Georgia Coates added; "I've never been anywhere outside of Europe, so to sample Japan and train with different types of swimmers will hopefully help me learn."
© Sportsbeat 2014