British Swimming performance director Michael Scott has announced an inquiry into the British performance at their home Olympics in London. The Brits are not the only country undertaking such an investigation, but as compared to their cohorts in Australia this one is very much about splitting-hairs.
Though the British squad took only three medals (1 silver and 2 bronze) which was half as many as they had in Beijing, this team also had 23 swims in medal-finals. That’s more than the country has ever seen.
Scott acknowledged this fact in his statement, but elaborated that they struggled to convert 4th-and-5th place finishes to medals. This would imply that Britain’s elite squad overall is continuing to expand and get deeper, but for whatever reason their ultra-elite swimmers haven’t followed the same trajectory.
According to Britain’s The Independent, the target set by the Ministry of Sport was 7 swimming medals; that left swimming as the only sports program shy of its Olympic target in an event where the home team was spectacular overall.
The full statement can be read below.
Following our collective disappointment at not meeting our high expectations at these Olympic Games, we will be undertaking a thorough performance de-brief.
I have met with British Swimming Chief Executive David Sparkes this week to begin this process so we don’t lose momentum as we implement the strategy for Rio.
In the Olympic cycle to London the British swimming team has achieved best ever results at world, Commonwealth and European level but in London we failed to continue this trend and we need to fully understand why.
I will lead a performance de-brief team that will include a member of the British Swimming board with vast experience of international and Olympic competition, Craig Hunter, as well as two independent appointments of high standing and regard to look at both our pool performance and our marathon swimming efforts.
No appointments have yet been made but dialogue to fill these appointments has begun.
In order that we can continue to improve as a swimming nation this will be done quickly but thoroughly with a view to completing by the end of October.
What we have seen this week within swimming is a major step forward for the sport with more nations than ever before making the podium, nine world records and 25 Olympic records being broken.
Within all of this Britain had more finalists than ever before with 23 in the pool but we were not able to convert the two fourth and six fifth places into medals and that is what we hope to better understand with the performance de-brief. We will also look at the fourth and fifth places we achieved in the open water events.