Departing Loughborough coach Ben Titley adamant British Swimming is in a ‘good place’
DEPARTING British Swimming coach Ben Titley insists he is leaving an organisation that is in a good not bad place and believes it would have been important to conduct an Olympic review even if the nation had over-performed in the pool.
Britain failed to hit their medal target of five to seven at London 2012 – winning just three in the form of bronzes for Rebecca Adlington in the 400m and 800m freestyles and silver for Michael Jamieson in the 200m breaststroke.
Despite reaching more finals than ever at the Games, 23, a four-man review is underway as to what went wrong and why while Titley himself is swapping Loughborough ITC with the National Swim Centre Ontario in Canada.
Titley saw three of his athletes – Liam Tancock, Fran Halsall and Lizzie Simmonds finish in the top five at London 2012 – and in the latter’s case miss out on a medal in the 50m freestyle by eight hundredths of a second.
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And he departs adamant a review is needed but not solely because of a failure to meet the medal target and adamant that British is in rude health and not the opposite the general public are led to believe.
“I think that after every competition you do it is always important to review, whether you have done well or whether you haven’t because there are always things you are going to learn,” said Titley – who helped celebrate the successful applicants of the 2012 Gillette ‘Great Starts’ grants last week.
“For British Swimming and the Olympics I would use the word frustrating. I think we had some very good performances but they weren’t quite there to win the medals.
“I know from my own perspective if I was afforded half a second and spread that over three athletes then I would have had three different medallists.
“But that is how things work and from a British public perspective the only thing that really counts is medals.
“But you have to understand that working on a day-to-day basis with a human being within a global sport, all you can really control is yourself.
“If they turn up and do the best times in the world and beat all the people they are supposed to beat and end up with a fourth or a fifth then you need to be satisfied with that, not happy, but satisfied.
“So I think British Swimming is in good place right now. We have great depth in the squad, we had more finalists then we have ever had before.
“But I also understand the flip side of that is that we are judged on medals and to be honest, quite rightly so.
“So it is a good thing that those things are in place so that we learn for four years time and I am sure the team will be in a good place for Rio.”
Titley, whose move is a mixture of a career choice and also a desire to be closer to his wife’s family in Canada, has spent nearly two decades in Loughborough and insists he is excited by the new challenge that awaits him.
“My wife has had a few health issues that mean we have to go back to Canada but I have been fortunate enough to be in Loughborough for 16 years which is a long place to be in such a small place,” he added.
“The opportunity to go back to where my wife is from but also continue doing what I love is great. Not just coaching the best swimmers, but also the best coaches in Canada, is something that is fresh and exciting for me.”
The 2012 Gillette ‘Great Starts’ campaign celebrates community coaches and inspires the next generation of coaches by providing them with grants to fund their next level qualifications.
© Sportsbeat 2012