As he prepares to compete in the Arena Pro Swim meet in Indianapolis this weekend, James Guy has professed himself to be in a “great place” following his move to Bath. That comes off the back of his outing at BUCS a week or so ago which propelled him briefly to the helm of the early world rankings over 200m freestyle. The 21-year-old, World champion in that event in 2015, took to twitter post-swim to express his contentment both at his performance and at his current training regime.
Been back in the water just under 8 weeks Really happy and in a great place at the moment https://t.co/eFW13WMnt4
— James Guy (@Jimbob95goon) February 19, 2017
Guy made the switch to the British Swimming National Centre Bath along with coach Jol Finck and fellow Rio 2016 Olympian Cameron Kurle off the back of his medal winning performance at the Olympics last year. They have been training alongside several of their Olympic teammates, including silver-medallists Jazz Carlin, Siobhan Marie-O’Connor and Chris Walker-Hebborn in one of Britain’s most successful programmes.
“I’m absolutely loving it,” said Guy. “I needed a place where I could make a fresh start for the next four-year cycle, a place where I can grow as a person and be among professional athletes with the same goals as me.
“When you walk in the Sports Training Village, everyone has the same passion and the same ambition to be the best. I’m training with Olympic medallists day in, day out – an elite group of athletes who want to be the best in the world.”
It was perhaps no surprise that Guy would follow his coach the short distance from the Millfield pool where they made their names, with Finck now installed as National coach within the NTC set up as the Australian had worked with Guy and Kurle for nine and five years respectively. The new coaching role will support David McNulty, who has overseen the successful growth of the programme at the University since 2008 and now has the title of National Lead Coach.
“The last few weeks have given me a chance to get to know the environment here at Bath, how everything works, and it’s been great,” said Finck. “There is a real energy in this building. Every time you come in – it doesn’t matter if it’s 6am in the morning or 7 at night, there is always something going on. It’s a great environment, an inspiring environment.
“Dave McNulty is one of the best swimming coaches in the world and a great friend. We are both very excited about the future prospects of the whole programme and what we can do to drive the team forward for the next three-and-a-half years and beyond.”
In the short term, Guys’ 1:47.38 swimming as a guest in the heats of the 200m freestyle in Sheffield was a good line in the sand for the new arrangement, being as it was the fastest time in the world at the time (it’s now been eclipsed by Naito Ehara of Japan). Guy also added a 1:58.63 200m fly swim to his repertoire, his second fastest time ever and hint that he might yet be keeping his toes wet in the butterfly events. A promising start then to his new training arrangements as he seeks to find his way back to the global podium in the 200 freestyle in Budapest later this year. We’ll find out more in Indy this weekend.