Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Furniss reflects on ‘tremendous’ World Championships

“The mentality is infectious and success is infectious and so is belief. The whole team is sharing this. They are racing more and getting harder to beat. I don’t want to worry about the opposition I want them to worry about us" Head Coach Bill Furniss

The British Swimming Team signed off from their most successful World Championship campaign with a total of nine medals including five golds and two world records.

Adam Peaty was the most successful British swimmer with three gold medals and one individual and one relay world record but success spread throughout the team as James Guy (200m Freestyle), the men’s 4x200m Freestyle relay and the mixed 4x100m Medley relay all claimed gold during the eight day competition.

The men’s 4x200m Freestyle relay saw success on day six and featured Dan Wallace, Robbie Renwick, Calum Jarvis, James Guy, Nick Grainger and Duncan Scott and was coached by Jol Finck.

The mixed 4x100m medley relay saw Chris Walker-Hebborn, Adam Peaty, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, Fran Halsall, Ross Murdoch and Rachael Kelly stand on top of the podium after being coached by Ben Higson.

Guy also claimed silver in the 400m Freestyle while Jazz Carlin (800m Freestyle), Ross Murdoch (100m Breaststroke), Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (200m Individual Medley) won bronze medals.

For Head Coach Bill Furniss this is an exciting move forwards but underlines that the sport needs to continue to improve in order to succeed in Rio.

“It’s been a great week, nine medals and five golds; it’s tremendous,” Furniss said. “It’s a big move forwards. National Performance Director Chris Spice and myself had a watching brief in Barcelona. We knew after that there were quite a few things we needed to address.

“We’ve raised the bar in terms of selection for the team and in what we expect and in terms of performances. We have changed the whole culture of our team. The last night was a tougher session for us. We got a couple of fourth places and we’re disappointed with them and that shows the progress we’ve made. There are positives all round but lots of work still to do ahead of Rio but we’re moving in the right direction.”

The competition began with gold for Adam Peaty in the 100m Breaststroke and the team continued to build on the winning mentality through the week but Furniss doesn’t want any member of the team to be complacent.

“The mentality is infectious and success is infectious and so is belief. The whole team is sharing this. They are racing more and getting harder to beat. I don’t want to worry about the opposition I want them to worry about us. What I would urge though is that it’s going to be more difficult. We’ve seen just how difficult it is and I think we can add 10 – 15% to that next year in Rio. We have to move on.

“We have to have a break and then straight back to it on the front foot and we have to improve in the next 12 months leading into Rio. If we don’t do that then we’ll have problems next year.

“We’ve hit most of our targets this week and some would say we are in front of where we need to be. We have a hard year of training and racing ahead of us. We’ve got the European Championships in London next May. We are going to use that meet and take the Olympic team there and that’ll be good preparation meet for us.”

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