Archive: Titley looks for perspective on Olympic performance

Outoging British Swimming coach Ben Titley believes the country should be more realistic about its expectations of what constitutes success in the pool.

Titley, who is leaving his position at Loughborough ITC to take a post with the Canadian swimming team, admitted he was frustrated by the lack of medals in the pool for the host nation at this summer’s Olympic Games, but attempted to put the lack of podium places into perspective by looking at past performances.

“It was frustrating. Athletes swam well but I thought I was the king of the fourths and fifths.” he said. “In terms of the medal count it was frustrating, but for a global sport like swimming, for us to be as involved as closely as we were in lots of events was encouraging.

“British Swimming hasn’t always had this many good athletes, and that is a testament to great coaching. I was the head coach of the Olympic team in Beijing which was our most successful Olympic Games to date.

“Looking at the results 20 years prior to that we actually had only four individual female Olympic swimmers make finals in a 20-year period, and now we have got swimmers in nearly every final and we are looking at it as the norm.

“We are frustrated we aren’t winning medals, but imagine the 20 years prior to 2008 when you only had four spaced out over 20 years who made a final.

“I think we have to be realistic about where we have come from, and in a global sport like swimming what a country like Britain can achieve.”

The 2012 Gillette ‘Great Starts’ campaign celebrates community coaches and inspires the next generation of coaches by providing them with grants to fund their next level qualifications.


Ben Titley discusses his coaching career and explains why he’s moving to Canada.