British Swimming today revealed the four men who will participate in their panel of experts to support what they are now calling their “London 2012 Performance Debrief”.
This panel was first announced in the immediate aftermath of the London Olympics where they took three medals; making them the only British Olympic sport to fall short of their targets for the games.
The panel is chaired by British Swimming Management Board member Craig Hunter, who has a lot of administrative experience both in swimming and outside of it; his biggest role was as England’s chef de mission for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and is an “independent member” of the board. It will also include British Swimming Chief Executive Michael Scott.
The two more interesting appointments are Conor O’Shea, a former director at the English Institute of Sport and the current Director of Rugby at the Harlequins, one of the world’s top rugby clubs. Though without any direct experience in swimming, he’s got a huge background in general performance and sport science that will serve as a foil to the swimming-specific experience of the other members.
The panel will also include German swimmer Thomas Lurz, who is widely viewed as the godfather of the modern generation of open water swimming. He was the 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the 10km swim, and is the only swimmer with two open water Olympic medals. He also has 10 World Championships to his name.
He will specifically contribute in the open water venue, his specialty, where the Brits failed to medal after winning both a men’s and 2 women’s medals the edition before in Beijing. This group did have a pretty good performance, with Keri-Anne Payne crossing the lane 4th and Daniel Fogg 5th, but there’s still room for growth in the depth of the open water competition.