British Swimming head coach Bill Furniss believes the hard work is starting to pay off after a series of impressive performances saw eight medals garnered at the European Short Course Championships.
There were silver medals in Denmark for Jemma Lowe in the 100m butterfly, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor in the 200m medley while Olympic silver medallist Michael Jamieson set a new British 200m breaststroke record in taking second.
An additional five bronzes were also won with Sophie Allen taking third in the 200m medley behind O’Connor, who also picked up bronze in the 100m equivalent.
Lowe was another to pick up two medals, this time with bronze in the 200m butterfly, while Aimee Willmott and Chris Walker-Hebborn completed the medal haul for the 12-strong team.
Records also fell as the team set five British, four English, three Welsh, two Scottish and one new Commonwealth best time.
And Furniss, who assumed his post in February this year and has talked about taking swimmers out of their comfort zones, was left impressed with what he saw.
“Overall the team did a very good job,” said Furniss, who coached Rebecca Adlington to two Olympic titles as well as two bronze medals.
“We know the European Short Course Championships isn’t one of the major international meets on the calendar but our performances demonstrated a considerable step forward for us.
“The event was the highest standard of European short course I have been to in terms of depth of quality and our athletes acquitted themselves superbly to make sure they didn’t miss targets or opportunities.
“My challenge to the team was to race well and I thought we did that superbly which is reaffirmed by the amount of records and best times achieved.
“I was impressed by our skills – our starts, turns and underwater work have improved and we’re beginning to move forward in this area.
“It has moved on since the World Championships in July and is a testament to the work coaches, athletes and sport science are doing in this area.”
© Sportsbeat 2013