What a week it’s been for the British Swimming Team!! They were competing out in Russia at the World Championships and absolutely smashed it. I was working alongside Mark Foster and Helen Skelton for the BBC, which was so much fun and incredible to be able to bring the TV coverage to everyone.
At the last World Championships in 2013 the team only picked up 1 bronze medal from Fran Halsall, and yet this time they won 9 medals… 5 of which were GOLD! It is the best result the team has ever achieved. They certainly made history last week breaking World Records, British Records and smashing the team’s overall performance too. We also saw the British athletes win events we have never won in the history of the World Championships.
The amount of depth we now have on the team is incredible. The obvious stand out performers for me were Adam Peaty and James Guy. Two young, hardworking, talented athletes. They both won Gold medals which was just fantastic to see, but the way they swam their races was the most impressive thing. They handled all the pressure and went out and had fun racing the world’s best. They paced their races to perfection. Both such lovely grounded guys too!
One lady I have to mention is the American superstar Katie Ledecky who this week won 5 Gold medals and broke 3 World Records. In 2008, I broke the World Record and swam a time of 8.14. To see Katie break that 2 years ago was simply amazing, but to witness her swimming this week has just been one of the best things I’ve ever seen. She smashed the record down to 8.07 which is HUGE! Rightly so she was awarded Female Swimmer of the meet by FINA. It was a massive shame to see Adam Peaty miss out on Male Swimmer of the meet. After winning 3 Gold medals and breaking World Records, I thought he would be the obvious choice, but the way the pointscore system worked meant that arguably the best male swimmer didn’t win the award.
A huge congratulations to everyone on the British team. To all the athletes, coaches and staff. The hard work and dedication paid off and these results are so deserved! The whole team was so impressive and it looked like they had so much fun and enjoyed the whole experience. A special mention to my old coach, Bill Furniss, who is now Head Coach. He and Performance Director Chris Spice have done an unbelievable job with the British team.
Now it’s game on for Rio. With 1 year to go I’m so excited for the Olympics already. I’m honoured to be one of the 8 Team GB Greats helping to inspire and support our athletes and our nation as we gear up for the Rio Olympics. Your support makes a massive difference and you can send your message to the Team GB athletes here . Good luck to all of the athletes on the Road to Rio 2016! www.teamgb.com/bringonthegreat