Looking At British Swimming’s Podium Potential Program’s Predictiveness

by Retta Race 1

September 25th, 2019 Britain, International, News

Earlier this week British Swimming released the roster of 48 athletes selected for its World Class Program (WCP) for the 2019/20 season. Per British Swimming, an extremely thorough selection process was implemented, analyzing athletes’ past and current performances and a robust assessment of their ability to win medals at both this and future Olympiads.

The athletes on the list, which you can see in its entirety here, are designated as ‘Podium’ or ‘Podium Potential’, receiving program opportunities and targeted financial assistance from UK Sport through the World Class Performance Program’s Athlete Performance Award.

For historical perspective, at the time the 2015/16’s edition of the British Swimming roster was released, the Podium-level support recognized those athletes having the potential to medal in the near-term, mainly at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, while the Podium Potential athletes were those in which a longer-term investment is being made.

As such, we reviewed Podium-level athletes’ performances at the 2016 European Championships, Olympic Games and Short Course World Championships, while also taking a peek at how the Podium Potential athletes from the 2015/16 roster fared at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, 2018 European Championships, as well as the 2019 World Championships.

Below is the list of the 21 athletes within that category and their medal production across the 2016 European Championships, the 2016 Olympic Games, as well as the 2016 Short Course World Championships.

All told, 29% of the Podium group swam away with at least one medal at that year’s Euro Championships, while 43% raced to at least one medal in Rio.

Athlete Results at 2016 European C’ships Results at 2016 Olympic Games Results at 2016 Short Course
World C’ships
Jack Burnell 10k OW silver 10k OW disqualification
Jazz Carlin 400 free silver
800 free silver
400 free silver
800 free silver
Nick Grainger
James Guy 200 free bronze
400 medley relay gold
800 free relay silver
400 medley relay silver
Fran Halsall 50 free silver
50 fly bronze
400 medley relay bronze
Calum Jarvis
Hannah Miley
Stephen Milne 800 free relay silver
Ross Murdoch 50 breast bronze
100 breast silver
200 breast gold
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor 400 medley relay gold 200 IM silver
Keri-anne Payne
Adam Peaty 50 breast gold
100 breast gold
400 medley relay gold
100 breast gold
400 medley relay silver
Ben Proud 50 free bronze
50 fly bronze
Lauren Quigley
Robbie Renwick 800 free relay silver
Duncan Scott 400 medley relay gold 800 free relay silver
400 medley relay silver
Liam Tancock
Chris Walker-Hebborn 400 medley relay gold 400 medley relay silver
Dan Wallace 800 free relay silver
Andrew Willis 200 breast silver
Aimee Willmott

 

Moving on to the Podium Potential group, of which there were 45 designated swimmers in the 2015/16 funded program (not narrowing down whom actually made each competition’s roster) 16% of the entire group earned at least one medal at the Commonwealth Games, 16% at the European Championships and 4% earned at least one medal at the World Championships.

 

Athlete Results at the 2018 Commonwealth Games Results at the 2018 European Championships Results at the 2019 World Championships
Luke Greenbank 200 back bronze
400 medley relay gold
James Wilby 50 breast bronze
100 breast silver
200 breast gold
400 medley relay silver
100 breast silver
200 breast silver
400 medley relay gold
100 breast silver
400 medley relay gold
Cameron Kurle 400 free silver
800 free relay silver
800 free relay bronze
800 free mixed relay bronze
Holly HIbbott 400 free silver
800 free relay bronze
400 free bronze
800 free relay bronze
800 free mixed relay bronze
Sarah Vasey 50 breast gold
Craig McLean 400 free relay bronze 800 free mixed relay bronze
Daniel Jervis 1500 free silver
Chloe Tutton 200 breast bronze
400 medley relay bronze
Max Litchfield 200 IM bronze
400 IM silver
Imogen Clark 50 breast silver
Molly Renshaw 200 breast bronze

 

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marley09

A 43% success rate at medaling in Rio seems like a good batting average. It is, right? Respectful golf claps sent from my cubicle. It’s even better considering GBR had the most 4th place finishes behind the Russians in Brazil. Not so certain about the success of the podium potential list but with the exception of the no-brainers I don’t think any country is really good at predicting success with the next wave.

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