Great Britain narrowly missed out on more medals in the final session of the World Championships but British Swimming head coach Bill Furniss insists their record haul in Kazan bodes well for the Olympic Games next year.
British swimmers picked up nine medals in total, five of which were gold, during the week in Russia – more than any other GB team in history.
The men’s 4x100m medley relay quartet almost made it a perfect ten on Sunday evening but missed out on a podium place by 0.17 seconds despite setting a British record of 3:30.67 in the final.
Hannah Miley finished fourth in the women’s 400m individual medley while Fran Halsall was just 0.2 seconds off a medal in the 50m freestyle.
And Furniss believes the sheer volume of strong performances over the week means the future is bright with Rio 2016 less than one year away, although the team cannot afford to become complacent.
“We’ve got the depth and another pleasing thing is the percentage of people on the team who have swum season’s bests at this meet,” Furniss told British Swimming.
“It’s a massive improvement on what we’ve done at previous Worlds or Olympics and that’s why we’ve been so successful.
“But we’ve got to move it on again. My message to the swimmers will be to have a short rest but you’ve got to be on it.
“You’ve got to be totally focused and we’ve got to improve again. The rest of the world will and that’s performance sport – if you relax for one second, you’re passed.
“We’re racing a lot more, we’re tougher to beat and we’ve got some good competitions next year. We’ll swim the Olympic team at the European Championships in London and use it as a preparation meet.
“We’ll just try and do what we’re doing at the moment, only a little bit better.”
Arguably the star of the show over the past week has been Adam Peaty – who won gold medals in the 50m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke and mixed 4x100m medley relay.
The 20-year-old was part of the British quartet that so agonisingly missed out on a men’s 4x100m medley relay medal on Sunday but with Ben Proud also just 20 and James Guy only 19, he is adamant the young foursome will only get better in the future.
“If you look how young this team is, I think it’s going to be really good over the next few years,” said Peaty. “We’ve got a lot of growth to do and I think we’re going to improve.
“It’s been my first Worlds and I know now that when it comes to a World Championships or hopefully an Olympic Games, it’s not about the occasion – it’s about racing and executing that race plan perfectly.”