View Full Version : What Next?
06-08-2002, 01:04 PM
With the success of Britain in the Commonwealth Games, where do you all see Britain standing in Athens in 2004? Will Britain continue to rise, and rival not only the Australians, but the Swedes, Germans, and <gasp!> Americans? Or have the warhorses like Pickering, Sheppard, and Hickman go out to pasture? Basically, is the Commonwealth Games result the best of British swimming, or just a sign of things to come?
07-08-2002, 12:08 AM
Mmm very good question. I wonder if the Aussies really were surprised, or if we just like to think so. Canadians must have been very shocked....did Snelling go back to work his magic there?
I would love to see Pickering and Shephard continue for many years but obviously the time will come....Other aging swimmers include Foster, most male Backstrokers (!) et al.
As said before we could really do with a rejuvenated Sue Rolph, but the future has to be in the continuing improvement of our promising swimmers such as Matt Kidd, Chris Cozens, Kate Heyward,Robin Francis, James Goddard..and the next generation inc. Stephanie Proud (who has just set a BJR in NAGS that would have placed her 7th in CWG!! at age 13).
I tend to be less aware of promising boys but ? Tancock seems to be our main hope
Athens still seems far too soon for us but I would honestly settle for improvement in at least getting swimmers into finals.From memory only 6 made finals in Sydney? I would also hate to see heat times being swum well outside of swimmers PBs/Trials times
- this to my mind was our worst offence (apart from the decision not to swim Pickering on the 4x100m FS relay anchor leg!!).
The good thing about starting from such a low base of course is that things can only get better!
07-08-2002, 03:39 PM
I think Mark Foster made a good point in interview last week. He said that going into Sydney, no British swimmers were ranked in the top 3. ie According to the previous year's worth of swimming, we didn't expect - or shouldn't have expected - any medals. The fact that it was the first time we hadn't won a swimming medal in 20-odd years or whatever was disappointing, but we didn't actually under-perform particularly. Maybe we didn't raise our game enough, but we didn't under-perform.
I think Bill Sweetenham is going to have trouble playing this down. He doesn't want us to become favourites to win lots of medals next time. He wants us to remain underdogs through to Athens. This will be hard to do, especially after Manchester (we were already quite obviously in an upwards trend), and especially with good showings at worlds/europeans over the next 18 months.
As for specific swimmers, it is difficult to say. Pickering/Sheppard seem to have been around forever and you have to go one day but maybe they see Athens as the end of the line/last chance saloon? As for Hickman, on the one hand he isn't as good as he used to be, but then again his form has improved recently after a bad period, so it's difficult to call. Foster just doesn't have the head for major champs in my opinion. We'll probably see him break a WR next year or something!
08-08-2002, 04:34 PM
Snelling had nothing to do with Canada's crap performance. They managed to screw it up on their own.
As for "last chance saloon" for Pickering and Sheppard. Maybe the 1:59 for the 200 is a stretch for a win in Athens since vanAlmsick went 1:56 at Europeans and June Croft could have won that 200free. But a 24.6 for 50 free seems more like it deserves a bit more respect?
08-08-2002, 08:45 PM
A 24.6 most certainly does deserve a bit of respect, being a half second off of the World Record. I mean her time would have won European Champs, beating Alshammar and Moravcova. Plus with Athens potentially being her 5th Olympics, nerves shouldn't play too much against her.
09-08-2002, 01:23 PM
Sorry that "last chance saloon" comment is open to misinterpretation. What I meant was these athletes might see Athens as the ideal time to call it a day, and wish to go out with a bang/on a high. I did not mean to suggest it would be their last chance to do something meaningful.:D
09-08-2002, 05:23 PM
I see what you mean.
Any Olympics is a great chance to do something meaningful. I think that Pricey (both 100 & 200), Cookey (800) and Sheps now have a great shot at a medal. Maybe the good one.
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