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SBD Global/December 3, 2012/Olympics
U.K. Reviews Olympic Swimming Performance, Head Coach Takes Blame
Published December 3, 2012
TAKING THE BLAME: In London, Craig Lord reported Pursley "accepted blame for the host nation’s underperformance in the pool, citing the 'poor leadership' of coaches and a 'perfect storm' of events that left swimmers 'just the wrong side of a fine line.'" Breaking his silence for the first time, Pursley said, "The result was devastatingly disappointing in terms of medals. The blame should be directed to me first as head coach." While conceding that he had failed to spark the "fire in the belly" of his team, Pursley "made the mistake of giving coaches choices" where he now believes that "he should have 'mandated matters' in the style of his predecessor, Bill Sweetenham." The review report "comes 10 days before U.K. Sport reveals the level of funding each Olympic sport will receive from a £500M ($802M) pot to prepare for Rio 2016." Mercy is likely to be shown to swimming on the basis that its youth team, the next wave, "is showing great promise." Rival sports may point out it was ever thus (SUNDAY TIMES, 12/2).
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