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Swimmer Amy Smith positive over new coach
5:00pm Friday 4th January 2013 in Sport
KIDDERMINSTER’S Olympic swimmer Amy Smith is looking forward to working with James Gibson and building on her breakthrough year.
Gibson took over as interim coach of British Swimming’s sprint programme at Loughborough University.
He replaces Ian Armiger as Smith’s coach after he became the technical director for the Cayman Islands following 15 years success with the national team.
The last 12 months have seen the Wyre Forest 25-year-old emerge as a strong individual competitor.
She won gold at the European Short Course Championships and made London 2012 after an impressive British Championships display. Smith produced solid performances at the Olympics, reaching the final of the 100-metre freestyle relay.
With the World Championships in Barcelona in the summer, she is targeting more progress.
Smith said: “It’s sad to see Ian go as he’s been a brilliant coach. But I am working with James now, it’s early days but I am positive about it.
“He’s been coaching the sprinters in France and has won a world title himself, so he’s got an excellent pedigree.”
Gibson, who retired from racing in 2010, has an impressive record during his two years of coaching, helping to turn around the fortunes of the famous sprint team in Marseille.
To help ensure the swimmers head into the worlds in the best possible form, the British Championships, which also double up as the trials, are being moved to June.
A special grand prix tournament will be in March which is the normal time for the nationals.
“I am not sure whether the change was going to happen anyway or if it was a reaction to the results at the Olympics,” added Smith.
“It could have been in the pipeline before and anything that may give us an advantage in Barcelona is welcome.”