Thompson eyes Rio for Britain's women's water polo team

20 February 2013 / 11:44

Britain’s new women’s water polo performance director Graeme Thompson has laid out his ambition to make the nation one of the strongest around after being appointed to the position.

Thompson has been named by British Swimming as the national performance director for women’s water polo, which has received a significant increase in funding from UK Sport.

The British water polo programme, incorporating both the men’s and women’s teams, was given £2.9m in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic Games with that figure going up.

The investment has increased to £4.5m towards Rio 2016 but just solely for the women’s team with Thompson having previously worked as a performance advisor with UK Sport.

He was also the performance director for the Rugby Football League and will be based in Manchester with a focus on further improving the women’s national squad.

Britain’s women qualified for the European Championships for the first time in 15 years last year, finishing seventh, but utilised a host nation place at the London 2012 Olympics.

Thompson will primarily be tasked with ensuring the team qualify outright for Rio 2016 and he is confident that is what can be achieved as he takes up the role.

“This is a great opportunity for both me and the sport,” said Thompson. “I’m really looking forward to getting started.

“The team has made very good progress in recent years and has significant potential for Rio. I’m looking to drive British water polo to be competing with the best in 2016.

“I will be looking at developing aspects of the talent pathways leading to the elite team, towards making us, Great Britain, one of the most competitive Water Polo nations in 2016 and beyond.”

© Sportsbeat 2013