British Chief Michael Scott Announces Inquiry into Olympic Medal Count

  11 Braden Keith | August 15th, 2012 | International, London 2012 Olympics, News

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.


  1. sam says:

    Oh for goodness sakes! The British swimmers were beaten by swimmers who swam faster. I’m sure the British swimmers and coaches did their very best but the Olympics is a meet with unbelievable competition.

    Many swimmers from all over the globe did not perform up to expectations. Winning a medal or breaking a world record is NOT easy.

    Just ask swimmers from Australia or Germany or Sweden or Brazil or Japan or the U.S.

    • Keith says:

      The point is that very few beat times they did earlier in the year let alone personal best times. The question needs to be asked why did so many fail to peak in London?

  2. Old timer says:

    Ministry of Sport? Is Brit swimming run by the government? That would explain a lot.

    • Brit Coach says:

      There’s no such thing as the Ministry of Sport; the body who set the targets was UK Sport who distribute the Lottery Funding to Sports Governing Bodies; British Swimming have received £25.1m in the last four years, same as T+F & Cycling, with worse results on the medal count – which in this case was all that mattered.

  3. Marley09 says:

    Hey Mike, I’ll help out here. anything for Queen and country.

    1. Looks kind of ridiculous in hindsight leaving Molly Renshaw off the team doesn’t it? I can see how selection olympic strategy looked OK typing it on the keyboard way back when, but a teenager achieving an “A” standard time with only one swimmer in her event, with olympics within walking distance of front door and Rio 4 short years away. But, the peeps who denied her appeal ought to humbly apologize to this poor kid. Looks even sillier sending Stacey Tadd alone (who?). In hindsight she could have produced one of those with out-of-nowhere swims like we saw from previously unknown teens Ledecky, YE Shewan and Ruta Meilutyte who stared down everyone.

    2. Kind of shameful implying Addington disappointed by not winning gold in 800 free. We all watched and no one was going to beat Katie Ledecky that day. Big deal, the bad guy wrestler sometimes wins in unscripted events. Soni unexpectedly lost to someone in grade 9, Phelps lost in 2Fly to someone who’s name i already forget and few saw Cielo losing to Manaudou. Addington is a true home grown superstar and you ought to give her lifetime free London parking instead of making her own this considering everything she’s done. Certainly no need to cut funding for everyone else.

    3. Hannay Miley. As above, no need to napalm your whole system b/c a pre-race favourite lost to Shiwen YE. Prop all these people up, make their posters bigger, build more pools, find the best coaches from other countries and increase funding starting now.

  4. kcswimjk says:

    Michael Scott can’t do it alone. Get Dwight Schrute and Jim Halpert in on the investigation.

  5. Two words; Pennis Dursley

    • DR. EVIL says:

      Don’t forget “the scientist” Jonty Skinner will also be joining Pursley at Alabama…..having also just left British Swimming!!

  6. LOW GAP IS QWEIR says:

    So….expect more mediocrity at Alabama?

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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