Adam Peaty will be looking to defend his Olympic 100m breaststroke title after being selected for Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

Olympic champion Adam Peaty is one of the first four swimmers to be selected to represent Britain at the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Peaty, who won gold in the 100 metres breaststroke at Rio 2016, has been picked alongside two-time Olympic silver medallist Duncan Scott and world medallists James Wilby and Luke Greenbank following the revision of British Swimming’s selection policy.

The quartet, who were previously named in the pre-selection phase last month, earned their places on the plane to Tokyo after winning individual medals at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju in South Korea.

British Swimming updated its selection policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is set to add further names to its Tokyo 2020 team following the British Championships, scheduled to take place in April.

A full team announcement is expected to be announced later this year.

Adam Peaty, James Guy, Luke Greenbank and Duncan Scott won gold in the men's 4x100m medley relay at the 2019 World Championships ©Getty Images
Adam Peaty, James Guy, Luke Greenbank and Duncan Scott won gold in the men's 4x100m medley relay at the 2019 World Championships ©Getty Images

"We are thrilled to confirm that Adam, Duncan, James and Luke have been selected to Team GB for the Tokyo Olympics and would like to congratulate them on this outstanding achievement," said Mark England, Britain’s Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020.

"We hope that this confirmation provides clarity and focus for this hugely talented group of swimmers as they continue their preparation for the Olympic Games.

"The mix of Olympic debutants and Olympic medallists within this group is extremely exciting and we know that their performances will uplift and inspire the nation this summer."

Peaty became the first British male Olympic champion in the pool since 1988 when he struck gold at Rio 2016.

He also earned silver in the men’s 4x100m medley relay at the same Games and is reigning double world champion and world record holder.

Scott, like Peaty, made his Olympic debut in Rio aged just 19, returning home as a double silver medallist in the men’s 4x200m and 4x100m medley relay events.

He has also won gold at three successive World Championships and became the most decorated swimmer ever at a Commonwealth Games after capturing six medals at Gold Coast 2018.

Wilby is set to make his first Olympic appearance in Tokyo but already possesses a wealth of medal-winning experience.

He claimed medals of all three colours at the 2019 World Championships and bagged a trio of medals at Gold Coast 2018.

Greenbank is also set to make his Olympic debut after becoming a double medallist at his second World Championships in 2019, including securing gold as part of Britain’s men’s 4x100m medley relay team and bronze in the 200m backstroke.

Chris Spice, national performance director for British Swimming National Performance and Britain’s swimming team leader for Tokyo 2020, said Peaty, Scott, Wilby and Greenback were "outstanding athletes" and "great ambassadors" for the sport.

"They were not only individual medallists from our most recent World Championships in Gwangju, but all returned home with relay gold medals as well," said Spice.

"Their selections are richly deserved, and I know how the four of them will keep their heads down and work even harder now to be in the best possible shape for Tokyo.

"I am also fully aware that some of our Olympic hopeful’s training environments are compromised right now and I feel desperately sorry about that.

"We continue to work hard to ensure our current elite athlete group can train, but our thoughts are also with those who cannot access water at the moment – we are hoping that with the extension of the Olympic qualifying window we can, at least in part, alleviate some of their concerns."