University Sports - Gibson given Loughborough role

British Swimming are putting plans in place for a permanent sprint centre with the appointment of former world champion James Gibson as an interim coach at Loughborough University.

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University Sports - Gibson given Loughborough role
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James Gibson

However British Swimming performance director Michael Scott admits the extent of the sprint programme and Gibson's role hinges on the amount of funding they receive from UK Sport.

Gibson, who won world 50m breaststroke gold in 2003, has been named as the interim sprint coach to head up the sprint programme at Loughborough University which will begin on December 3.

Having retired in 2010, Gibson has coached in France, taking over of the sprint programme at the CN Marseille Club, and has been part of the Dutch team for international competitions since then.

Among his success stories is Florent Manaudou, who won Olympic 50m freestyle gold at London 2012, however Scott cannot yet say whether Gibson's role will become permanent.

Britain failed to hit their medal target of five to seven at London 2012, winning just three, leading to many to speculate that the sports funding will soon be cut.

There have been a wave of departures also with Loughborough ITC head coach Ben Titley moving to Canada and British Swimming head coach Dennis Pursley relocating back to America.

Scott said: "The plan was always to address our event weaknesses, especially the sprints bearing in mind the number of events across the different strokes and the relays.

"With Ben Titley's departure from Loughborough we need a coach to look after our sprint athletes there in the interim whilst we progress our plan to set up a permanent sprint centre in the UK.

"James Gibson has accepted the job as interim sprint coach and will join us in December. Once we know our budget from UK Sport and have established our future funding priorities from that, the nature and extent of the sprint programme will be determined going forward.

"As a swimmer, Gibson's background is first class and although he is a young coach, his experience in working with the world renowned sprint programme in Marseille and his role with the Dutch swimming team over the last two years have provided him with great skills to help British Swimming lift its performances in the sprint events."

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