Amy Marren has not been funded by British Para-swimming's funded athletes ©Getty Images

Four-time International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championship medallist Amy Marren and three-time Paralympic gold medallist Matt Walker are high-profile omissions from British Para-swimming’s Podium and Podium Potential programmes.

A total of 44-swimmers had been selected to join the programme in the build-up to the Rio 2016 Paralympics, following a performance review programme involving both the athletes and their coaching staff.

Marren and Walker are the most striking absentees from the list of athletes who will receive direct support from UK Sport through their World Class Performance Programme.

“This season is the big one for all of us and we have carefully considered our podium athletes for the Paralympic year,” said Chris Furber, national performance director.

“The athletes selected to the podium programme have all demonstrated they have the ability to be able to return medals in Rio and have made positive steps to support the vision of the programme of being best performing at the Paralympic Games.

“This year we saw that, as expected, the world of Para-swimming is moving forwards rapidly.

“We need to make sure that we are ready for what could be the toughest Paralympics Games ever and in order to be at our top end of funding the athletes need to demonstrate that they are improving to keep up with the rest of the world.”

Four-time Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds has been included as one of the 44 funded athletes
Four-time Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds has been included as one of the 44 funded athletes ©Getty Images

Among the athletes included on the list of podium funded athletes are four-time Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds and Ollie Hynd, who secured two titles at this year’s IPC World Swimming Championships in Glasgow.

Tully Kearney, Hannah Russell, Jessica-Jane Applegate and Sascha Kindred also claimed titles at the Championships to help Britain end fifth on the medals table with a total of 32 medals, including 10 goals.

The next level of funding, named “Podium Potential”, sees younger athletes such as 14-year-old Erraid Davies, who won bronze at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, receive support as they aim to target medals at Tokyo 2020.

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