Britain Head Coach Bill Furniss ‘Really Optimistic: All Big Hitters In Good Place’

Big hitters and medallists from Kazan 2015 worlds who came through and have a Rio ticket in their hand - clockwise from top left: Ross Murdoch, set for the 100m but his 200m campaign looks set to be confined to a European challenge, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Jazmin Carlin - all images Patrick B. Kraemer

Bill Furniss – no apologies for a policy that works for Britain. After six days of Glasgow trials: “There have been some great performances, take James Guy’s performance then, it was superb and I’m feeling really optimistic for the summer. All our big hitters look to be in a good place, and that is good. Our whole philosophy is about performing in the summer”

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Andrew Czyzewski

Is Carlin not remotely in contention for swimming the 800m at Rio then?

If so, that seems madness. Given the strong 400m performance, it was a clearly demonstrable blip and not reflective of her obvious medal potential in 800m.

Craig Lord

Andrew – she will race the 800. Anyone who qualifies for any race may be added to other events if there is a berth available… which there is in that case.

Paul Smith

hi Craig

Is this your ‘blindly’, judged report, or have you had the nod from yesterday’s selection meeting?

It seems from a SwimSwam blog that there was some quite flu going round the Bath camp – not sure if Jazz was afflicted.

Victoria Smith

No womens 4×200 then?

Craig Lord

Paul – this is me (though not ‘blind’ 🙂 – no insider info on the discretions, as it should be. Bath: none of those I spoke to had any symptoms of ‘flu in Glasgow. Several swimmers, from several programs, including James Guy, had ‘flu earlier this year (pretty standard, no great drama). … the pursuit of ‘explanations’ from a remote place should be taken with a pinch of salt 🙂

Craig Lord

No idea, Victoria – the women’s 4×100 and 4×200 very weak, hence did not include them on my ‘best prospects’ list – no idea what selectors will do but if you take that kind of standard you’d have to either take the likes of Roberto Pavoni and Co or send them a serious apology and explain why ‘no chance of medal’ applies to them but not to those relays, two of which could be an unnecessary distraction for some of the bigger medal hopes, such as Siobhan and Jazz…


It’s a big wowww if they don’t send women 4×200.
It’s a huge step down from last year where they finished 5th and beat Australia.


And why is Murdoch saying he will try to qualify for 200 breast in Euro champs?

So, they have another shot at qualifying at Euro?
It just doesn’t make sense to me to set such a crazy standard and then tell the swimmers they can try again a month later. Because you are basically asking the swimmer to retaper, and then not much training block after that. Asking a swimmer to taper/peak 3 times within 3 months is nuts.


I wrote few days ago how much weaker British women’s freestyle has become, and Bill Furnish noticed it too 🙂

Smart tracker program was such a smart program. Don’t understand why they ended it.

Craig Lord

Yes, but then they have three of those women already on the team as instant tickets, aswimfan – obv they could add Faulkner and Coates (but they’d have to swim at least 2 of the others heats and finals (similar problem for Sweden etc), where the big teams most likely to make medals have more leeway. AUS poor in Kazan… should be stronger in Rio. We shall see. Dan Wallace and Roberto Pavoni 6th and 7th 400IM in Kazan, just as strong a claim on that basis – neither with a genuine shot at medals in Rio … and neither has the 4×200 assuming the rest swim to potential. Wallace 4th in 200IM … won’t be there in Rio. As Furniss says: some tough decisions. I’d imagine 3 teams will be around (or better than) where USA was to win in Kazan… 7:50 is not going to cut it, not even close. USA and CHN have the edge on all, USA a shot at WR, I would imagine


Auto qualifiers plus 2% qualifiers (not including relays):
Proud, Guy, Milne, Shuttleworth, Peaty, Murdoch, Willis, Benson, Litchfield, Halsall, Carlin, Davies, O’Connor, Tutton, Renshaw, Miley, Willmott (17)
Add in athletes qualified for relays:
Walker-Hebborn, Renwick, Scott, Coates, Faulkner, Hattersley (though Hattersley probably won’t be taken) – so 6-1 = 5

That gives 22 athletes. By using Kazan splits (allowed in the selection policy) we can add Rachael Kelly, and one of Barrett / Wallace, leaving us 6 discretionary picks. Those in the running would probably be:
Barrett / Wallace (if not already picked), James, Kurle, Pavoni, Tancock, Greenbank, Vasey, Simmonds.

Last time they were used largely for relay cover, so let’s examine this:
Men’s 4x200m – Kurle likely as cover
Men’s Back – no cover, maybe Tancock
Men’s Breast – yes
Men’s Fly – no unless Barrett already selected though he could be unreliable
Men’s Free – yes for medley, probably needs Barrett for 4x100m free
Women’s 4x200m free – yes, no need for Hattersley
Women’s Back – no, maybe Simmonds
Women’s Breast – yes, probably no Vasey
Women’s Fly – yes (O’Connor, Kelly)
Women’s Free – yes

So I would have Barrett as my 24th allowed selection, then pick:
Kurle, Tancock, James, Simmonds for relay cover
Individually – Greenbank and Pavoni (Wallace misses out though could get the nod over Pavoni)

That would be my personal take anyway:
50m free – Proud
100m free – Proud, Scott
200m free – Guy, Renwick (?)
400m free – Guy, Milne
1500m free – Shuttleworth, Milne
100m back – Walker-Hebborn, Tancock
200m back – Greenbank
100m breast – Peaty, Murdoch
200m breast – Willis, Benson
100m fly – Barrett, James
200m IM – Pavoni, Litchfield
400m IM – Pavoni, Litchfield
All three relays – Kurle relay only

50m free – Halsall
200m free – Faulkner, Coates
400m free – Carlin
800m free – Carlin
100m back – Davies, Simmonds
200m back – Simmonds
100m breast – Tutton
200m breast – Tutton, Renshaw
100m fly – O’Connor, Kelly
200m fly – Wilmott
200m IM – O’Connor, Miley
400m IM – Wilmott, Miley
Medley & 4x200m relays

Craig Lord

Your list has a couple of mixed msgs in it, Iain. It would, as you know, mean there were swimmers on the team who did not stack up at trials and were beaten by others with a first-line claim. You’d basically be selecting Barratt and Kelly over people who beat them at “trials” supposed to decide such stuff (unless sound medical reason go think otherwise). There is no case for putting Faulkner and Coates in the indiv free (barring, well, they’re here so let them swim), if the likes of Pavoni and Wallace are not selected (your lowest fullest meets my view below, barring the ‘beaten at trials but favoured’ selections you mention – which may well be decided on discretions that take into account what we do know prev. form – and what we don’t). Pavoni, European medals, followed by worlds finalist followed by ‘we’re not going to fund you’, followed by wold rank No 9 and 12, ‘we’re not taking you’ but we are going to let two girls outside the best 30 (soon 40 and more as the season unfolds) go for a relay we know has a very remote chance of getting close to medals. By all means take them all – otherwise stick to notion of genuine crack at podium for relays (knowing how hard that is going to be even for the obvious shots, let alone those quite a long way off the pace). If they stretch to 30 it is as I wrote before trials: just about everyone you’d expect to go will go.


Everyone ahead of Barrett at trials has been selected, but anyhow he could get taken for the 4x100m free and get a fly place ahead of James (assuming you only take one) by default.

Kelly was beaten at trials but I think there may have been something going on there, given she has been much quicker this season. Anyhow, she can be selected on her Kazan split and not take a discretionary place, which makes her a much more attractive proposition.

Coates and Faulkner are purely there as ‘may as well let them swim’, particularly with the new relay alternates rule.

I have put Pavoni in the team so not sure what your issue is there? You could take both him and Wallace (or argue for just Wallace due to 4×2 usefulness) if you dropped someone else, say one of the flyers.


Also, the major argument for taking the women’s 4×2 over the likes of Pavoni etc. is that they actually made the 2% time, even without O’Connor swimming. That they have a bigger claim is somewhat of a no-brainer.

Craig Lord

Iain, the only issue with all on your list comes down to “up to 30″… If they take 30, they’re all in.

Craig Lord

I don’t see it quite like that, Iain, in context: you have them down to swim solo events, it was in that context… they are well out and I think no-one minds anyone on the team swimming solo events if the cut is 30 people and none get left out of that. Hard to give a thumbs up to one and not the other when comparing the worth of a 4×200 free that can make the final but is a fair way from medals with solo swimmers in precisely the same position.


At the end of the day though, the women’s 4x200m has met the 2% time. I will be flabbergasted if they aren’t taken.

Looking at last year, when the policy was the same, British Swimming did take 30 athletes.

Paul Smith

I would find it very difficult to see four swimmers improve by a country mile (2% plus on average) in a hectic programme for one or two.

It is much more likely that one or two individual swimmers come good on the day.

I expect the Head Coach et al will have exercised their judgement!

Craig Lord

Quite, Iain, and I suspect that’s what will happen this time. There’s no-one in a count of 30 who would be non-deserving one way or another.


Paul – not to say this will happen, but re the women’s 4x200m.
SMOC (1:57.78), Carlin (1:56.35), Turner (1:58.28), Miley (1:58.19) – 7:50.60

SMOC can drop 2 seconds herself, while Coates / Faulker can drop a good second from Turner / Miley. At this point though I do feel slightly bound to point out Faulkner’s woeful major champs performances, CWG 2014 aside. Hopefully she can improve on that this year. Even without her though, Miley should prove capable.

Craig Lord

All of which could lave them 5th in Rio, Iain, the same scenario applying to every major quartet, on paper … it will come down to the day, as ever.


Agreed Craig – just pointing out that it’s not as if the British team need to drop an implausible amount from Kazan to get into the medal shake up, as Paul seemed to be implying.


Can anyone please confirm that two swimmers from last year gold medal winning 4×200 relay final: Daniel Wallace and Callum Jarvis, are both out of Rio?


Probably, but we won’t know until Thursday.



Callum Jarvis is certainly out, he didn’t even make the final of the 200m nor did he feature in his other individual races. Dan Wallace, if you read the above comments, has a better case for a ticket, as there are still medley spots available. 2% near misses and other trial selection policies aside, I think Furniss and co. will most likely consult the coaches of Dan Wallace, Rachel Kelly and those who considerably under-performed in Glasgow in events which still have individual slots.

A case of where they draw the line for “genuine medal contenders”.

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