Bill Furniss On Britain: ‘In Budapest the sheet is clean … blank; we start again’

Adam Peaty - by Gary McCaffery on training camp in Tenerife last month - courtesy of - inset images, top to bottom, Ben Proud, James Guy and Duncan Scott - by Patrick B. Kraemer

The words a ‘little bit difficult’ to describe the week gone by for Jazz Carlin and Siobhan-Marie O’Connor do not sound like the choice of a man – a head coach and chief selector, no less – about to dump Britain’s two Olympic silver medallists among women in the pool at Rio 2016 from his squad for the World Championships in Budapest come July. Time after times that missed the target will tell: tomorrow brings the naming of the Great Britain team for the World Championships in Budapest this July. A team of 25 or so is likely. Sats head coach Bill Furniss: “When we get to Budapest the sheet is a clean sheet, everything’s blank and we start again”

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Barnabas Mandi

Craig, can you explain why was the QTs so fast for the Worlds?

Craig Lord

Barnabas, the policy is similar to that for Rio 2016 and will be so all the way to Tokyo2020 (and beyond)…. it is seen to have worked in raising standards – and meeting a founding policy of money for medals.

Barnabas Mandi

It’s seems (from outside) that only medals count. You have really good places on the actual world rankings and some of the the times are pretty far from the automatic qualification. I think a place in a final (or semis) can make a nation proud. Last year was a little bit different, because of the Europeans in London and the OG. Do you think the same plan will continue next year for the Commonwealth Games?

Craig Lord

Barnabas, I hear what you say, but like Brexit and other such moments with a somewhat bigger impact on people’s lives, either side of the divide, a large survey took place and the British public, rather more wedded to football than swimming and the likes, even when the beautiful game is somewhat mediocre, voted for ‘we hate coming 16th and 20th and so on at the olympics… make it medals and you get the money; no medals and you don’t’ … i can’t recall precisely what the question was but that was about it and its answer. It, at least in part, has led to Britain saying ‘medals is what we want’ and then working to that and being right up there on the medals table and feeling v proud come the Olympic hour – no-one much cares about swimming in between beyond those who care about swimming at all times. In Britain this past week, hardly a single one of those swims in Sheffield has made even a mention in the mainstream media. Peaty gets a passing mention, of course – but for the most part, the rest of it doesn’t register. Those winning medals in Budapest will. The rest will hardly register. That’s the reality for sports such as swimming in Britain in between Olympics – and the funding and pride is in tune with that.


Craig, tend to concur fully with your above comment and would expand it to the extent that this is the overall state of play for swimmi ng in the vast majority of Western countries. Whilst AUS Nationals still have TV coverage of finals sessions, coverage in most other mainstream media is very low key and very much lower emphasis than the prevailing football codes outside of Olympics.

Whilst I do agree that the British Swimming selection document/procedure is overly complex; in most other senses I feel they are now fast becoming the template for most other swimming nations that are not the USA. I especially like the separation of finals into the various “target” categories.

Barnabas; might I suggest that European Championships may be the “peak event” for British swimming in 2018 rather than CommGames given the 4 month time spread between the 2 events unlike the complementary “flow on” dates that were the case in 2014 ? First and foremost, they are at home (Glasgow) and will most likely see greater British media attention

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