Scott 'will not quit' as head of British Swimming

Michael Scott will not quit his job as British swimming's top coach despite admitting he was devastated with the performance of his team at their home Olympics.


British swimmers won just three medals at London 2012 - one silver for Michael Jamieson and two bronzes for Rebecca Adlington - compared with six medals, including two golds, in Beijing, while they claimed five podium places in Olympic events at last year's World Championships in Shanghai.

"I'm gutted, we came here to be successful and that is measured by podium performances," said Scott.

"I've never experienced a low like this but we have to and will rebound.

"My style is not to quit or walk away. I have the confidence of the board. It is not a systematic problem, you can't be the number three nation in terms of finalists and say you aren't producing.

"I'd like the opportunity to compete this job. I'm more passionate now than ever to turn it around and I don't want to feel like this again."

British Swimming chief executive David Sparkes has ordered an immediate review of the performances in the pool and open water and Scott expects the £25 million they received in lottery funding to be cut ahead of the Rio Games.

Craig Hunter, a former Olympic swimmer and chef de mission of the British Paralympic team, is being drafted in for advice and two other appointments from outside swimming will be announced in the next ten days, with Sparkes hinting he wanted British Cycling performance director David Brailsford involved in the process.

Scott expects the review to be completed by the end of October and his key recommendation will be to give his squad more competitive action.

"In the Olympic cycle to London the British swimming team has achieved best ever results at world, Commonwealth and European level but in London we failed to continue this trend and we need to fully understand why," added Scott.

"We had 23 finalists in the pool, third behind only the USA and Australia, but we couldn't convert two fourths and six fifth places into medals.

"I hate fourths and fifths after this meet, I just hate the numbers. You can't think we are really satisfied with fourths and fifths?

"I don't want to preempt a debrief process or bias that process because we need to look at all facets of our performance.

"We most likely will have to be learner and meaner and that means things will change. We're going to have to invest money in areas where we think performance will be delivered."

There has been criticism of the way some swimmers reacted to disappointment, with television viewers claiming they didn't appear too bothered or that upset when they failed to match their expectations.

But Scott denied claims his athletes didn't care, insisting they were just putting on a brave face for the sake of team morale.

"I know there is an issue about how athletes reflect on performance and that has been raised as a concern. I see how they feel behind the scenes," he added.

"We need to get the right balance between expressing disappointment and maintaining positivity within a team environment.

"Behind the scenes I see how devastated the team are and how they feel.

"Maybe we need to let the media and public see that disappointment. I see their tears but we do stress the need to be positive as well."

Sparkes has said he was disappointed that British athletes had not been allowed greater time in the pool, claiming organisers Locog had denied the swim team some of the access they had asked for.

But Scott insists they will only move forward if they adopt a no excuses culture.

"We got access when we asked for it," said Scott.

"I don't want to be here making excuses, most World Championships are staged in temporary pools you've never swum in. That can't be used as a reason for our performance.

"I don't agree about the crowd being daunting either. The crowd were fantastic, they should have been an asset."

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