LONDON, England, September 25. JUST a couple of days after announcing her quasi-retirement, world record holder Rebecca Adlington spoke out about her desire to help British Swimming understand why the country did not meet its goals at a home Olympics.
In an article in the London Daily Mail, Adlington said she was surprised that neither she nor other swimmers on the British Olympic team were invited to be a part of the independent panel that is evaluating British Swimming from all angles. She also said her longtime coach, Bill Furniss, could have offered invaluable insight as well.
“You can never get enough help or gain enough knowledge after any sporting event, but I wish they'd asked me or my coach, Bill Furniss, because we're the ones who really know what's going on poolside,” Adlington said.
The panel consists of only one British native: Craig Hunter, a member of British Swimming's board of directors. American coach Bob Bowman, German open water swimmer Thomas Lurz, Irish rugby director Conor O'Shea and Australian Michael Scott are also part of the panel.
Though Scott is British Swimming's national performance director, Adlington said he hasn't spent enough time among the national team to fully know what goes on with the squad. But British Swimming countered with a statement, saying “While Michael does return to Australia, he is in the UK for sufficient time to meet his role. When he is here, he meets with coaches, athletes and support staff and is based at our head office.”
As with the independent panel looking into Australia's subpar performance in London, it is likely the British Swimming panel will be conducting interviews with athletes and staff from the Olympic team. That Australian panel, it was recently reported, will include past Olympic champions Kieren Perkins and Petria Thomas.