British Swimming head coach Bill Furniss defends Olympic qualifying times

SUCCESS for Parish Church Primary School swimmers.

SUCCESS for Parish Church Primary School swimmers.

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British Swimming Olympic head coach Bill Furniss has defended the demanding qualifying times for Rio after only eight individuals met the required standard in Glasgow.

As the 2016 British Swimming Championships drew to a close, Furniss – the man who coached Rebecca Adlington to two Olympic golds – will need to decide who else makes the plane bound for Brazil, with the team to be announced on Thursday.

With only eight swimmers having dipped below the Olympic qualifying times this week, Furniss and his team will have to make some big decisions on who else makes the squad, but the former Nova Centurion coach is adamant only the best of the best will travel.

He said: “I think it has been a good week, it has been a typical trials in that you get some massive highs and some real lows.

“You get kids and their coaches who are elated but then you also get kids and coaches who are absolutely devastated.

“You put five Olympic rings up there and it brings a whole tension with it, and in some respects, it sorts out the wheat from the chaff.

“It gets those who you want on the team on that plane and I think that is very much why we are pleased with the selection policy.

“You don’t have to be a genius to know that is a predicted time for a medal in Rio, so it allows us to balance and give us a level playing field to judge people’s performances by.”

While a whole host of swimmers wait to hear the result of Thursday’s announcement in Bath, there were plenty of Nottingham swimmers in action on the final day of competition on Sunday.

In the senior 200m backstroke final Elliot Clogg came home finished seventh in a time of 2:01.68, just outside his personal best, set in the heats.

It was outside the qualifying time for this summer’s European Junior Championships, but the 16-year-old was optimistic that he has done enough to make the team, having already hit the time in the 100m backstroke at the start of the week.

He said: “It has been a strange week and but I got my preparations right.

“I don’t really know what happened then, but I’ll take a few days off and then get back to training.

“I need to have a look at my performance and see what went wrong.

“I hope it is still good enough for me to race at the European Championships.”

Elsewhere Nova Centurion’s William Gayne finished second in the junior final of the 200m backstroke in a time of 2:05.73, 24 hours after posted 2:12.08 in the 200m individual medley heats.

Tickets for the European Aquatics Championships – the biggest event to be held at the London Aquatics Centre since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games – from May 9-22 are now available here: www.euroaquatics2016.london