British National Team Head Coach Bill Furniss is very happy with the performances he saw from the British team at the European Short Course Championships in Herning, ““Overall the team did a very good job. We know the European Short Course Championships isn’t one of the major international meets on the calendar but our performances demonstrated a considerable step forward for us,” said Furniss.
The British swimmers brought home three silver and five bronze medals:
- Jemma Lowe – silver – 100 butterfly bronze – 200 butterfly
- Siobhan-Marie O’Connor – silver – 200 IM bronze – 100 IM
- Michael Jamieson – silver – 200 breaststroke
- Aimee Willmott – bronze – 400 IM
- Sophie Allen – bronze – 200 IM
- Chris Walker-Hebborn – bronze – 100 backstroke (tie with Camille Lacourt of France)
The team also set one commonwealth, five British, four English, two Scottish and three Welsh records along with posting 34 best times.
This is an improvement from their 2012 performance in Chartres where they collected one gold, two silver and two bronze.
One concern for Furniss may be the performance of Hannah Miley, who won the gold in the 400 IM at both the 2012 European Short Course and World Short Course Championships. In Herning Miley finished fourth in the 400 IM posting at time of 4:28.56, five seconds slower than her winning times in 2012 and more than a second off her season’s best of 4:27.21 which she put up at the World Cup in Beijing.
Furniss focused on the positives and one of the biggest things he was looking for from his squad in Herning was their ability to race and improvement in their technical skills, “One of the most pleasing things about the collective performance was the fact we were very good technically as well as very resilient in our racing,” said Furniss.
“I was impressed by our skills – our starts, turns and underwater work have improved and we’re beginning to move forward in this area. It has moved on since the World Championships in July and is a testament to the work coaches, athletes and sport science are doing in this area.”
After a dreadful showing at the Olympics and another poor showing at the World Championships this summer, where they only picked up one bronze, Furniss knows that the British program is going to have see incredible improvements over the next few years if they want to have success in Rio and he is hoping that what he saw in Herning is the start of that process.