francis switches to south africa

Individual medley specialist Robin Francis has switched allegiance and will now compete for South Africa, with the aim of representing his new country in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games next year. The British record holder over 200m IM, Francis was born in Durban but grew up in Britain and was a member of the 2004 British Olympic team where he was a semi finalist in the shorter medley event. The switch has been rumoured for some time in British swimming circles but has only now been confirmed, with Francis now likely to challenge the South African national marks in both medley events
Although speculation over the reasons for the switch is bound to be rife, Francis himself was quick to stress that his decision was swimming based and in particular related to his desire to work with top South African coach Graham Hill.
“I came here [to South Africa] because I know what Graham is capable of getting out of his swimmers,” Francis said. “We’ve been talking for a while about me coming here. He can make the difference between me getting a gold medal or missing out altogether – there’s so much at stake and a fraction of a second is all we are talking about at this level.”