Furniss, Hemmings, Marshall, McNulty & Tigg Lead 10-Strong GBR Coach Staff For Paris Olympics

2024-02-27 No comments Reading Time: 4 minutes
Team GB - coach nominations are in for Paris 2024 - image courtesy of British Swimming

Ten of Britain’s world-class swimming mentors have been named by British Swimming to coach at the Paris 2024 Games three years after Britain’s most successful Games in the pool at Tokyo2020ne.

Bill Furniss is head coach to the pool team for the third successive Olympics, while Nathan Hilton will lead the team of three marathon swimmers heading for 10km battles in the River Seine.

Coach nominations to be approved by the British Olympic Association as official Team GB staff include stalwarts previous Games Mel Marshall, David McNulty, Steven Tigg and David Hemmings. They will coach alongside Lisa Bates, Britain coach of the year in 2023 Ryan Livingstone (who guided double World champion Matt Richards at Millfield) and Jamie Main on duty in the pool and Hayley Baker on the shores of the Seine.

British Swimming notes:

While Britain’s swimmers will be targeting another memorable Olympic campaign after the record-breaking eight-medal haul from Tokyo 2020, the coaching team will again be pivotal in preparing the athletes for the Olympic arena and helping them to deliver performances at the crucial moment.

Tokyo flashback – Great Britain – (l-r) James Guy, Tom Dean, Duncan Scott, Matt Richards – the nation’s first 4x200m freestyle Olympic champions since the only other time it happened, at the very beginning, in 1908 – by Simone Castrovillari, courtesy of Speedo

David Hemmings, Mel Marshall, David McNulty and Steven Tigg all oversaw athletes from their training cohort on to the Olympic podium three years ago and are nominated by British Swimming after being part of last year’s coaching team at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, among other recent major international meets, while Ryan Livingstone coached Matt Richards to a pair of world titles in 2023 and has been nominated for his first Games in France.

Supporting that quintet and working closely with the Team GB pool swimming group will be Lisa Bates and Jamie Main. Lisa is set for her third consecutive Games in such a role, while Jamie worked in that vital support coach position as Britain secured eight medals in Fukuoka in July.

In the marathon swimming, Hayley Baker will continue her coaching work over the sport’s longest events, as she did at the recent World Championships in Doha, where Hector Pardoe swam to a brilliant bronze in the Men’s 10km – one of three British athletes to secure Paris 2024 quota spots, along with Toby Robinson and Leah Crisp.

Reflecting on the coaching nominations, British Swimming Head Coach Bill Furniss – who is set for that role for a fourth time with Team GB in Paris – said:

Rebecca Adlington and coach Bill Furniss - double gold at Beijing 2008 - courtesy of British Swimming

“I am very pleased to congratulate these eight outstanding coaches on being nominated to the BOA to work with our Olympic team in Paris. Each one of them has repeatedly proved that they can deliver their best in the arena and help our athletes do the same, and they all came through a thorough and competitive selection process to earn this opportunity.

“With Olympic year now upon us, it is valuable for us to be able to appoint our coaching staff at this early juncture, as it allows individual staff to build and strengthen relationships and communication among the coaching group, as well as doing the same with our athlete cohort at key training camps and competitions between now and the summer, particularly with such a packed schedule on the horizon.

“We wish every coach the best for these crucial final months of this Olympic cycle, and it is another exciting step on the way to us nominating our Olympic teams for the pool and open water in 2024.”

Bill Furniss. Photo: Beijing 2008 double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington and coach Bill Furniss – courtesy of British Swimming

These coaching nominations are supported by confirmation that British Swimming Performance Director Chris Spice will take up the role of Team Leader for a third consecutive Games, with Furniss and Dawn Peart reprising their respective positions as Head Coach and Team Manager, as they did in Rio and Tokyo.

Nathan Hilton has been nominated as the Head Coach for marathon swimming at these Games.

Coach Picks – British Swimming nominations

Dave McNulty, centre, with his TeamGB charges and politicians before leaving for a huge success story at Tokyo 2020ne – courtesy of TeamGB

Head Coaches

Bill Furniss (pool swimming)

Nathan Hilton (marathon swimming)


Mel Marshall with her charge Adam Peaty - courtesy of Mel Marshall
Mel Marshall with her charge Adam Peaty – courtesy of Mel Marshall

Hayley Baker (marathon), Swim Wales High Performance Centre, Swansea

Lisa Bates, Chelsea and Westminster Swimming Club

David Hemmings, Loughborough Performance Centre

Ryan Livingstone, Millfield

Jamie Main, Bath Performance Centre

Melanie Marshall, Loughborough Performance Centre

David McNulty, Bath Performance Centre

Steven Tigg, University of Stirling

SOS Editorial comment: Being selected to represent your country and sport at the Olympic Games is a great honour. And so, this would have been a good day for Swim England to issue an official apology to Alan Bircher, the former international who was hung out to dry for some three years after allegations linked to The Titans resulted in him losing the Open Water coach selection on the eve of the Tokyo Games. Of late, the coach – who spent a long time in other work trying to make ends meet for his family while waiting for the kind of professional due process that Swim England was, in general, lambasted for failing to provide in the independent Weston Report – has been cleared of wrongdoing. Olympic nomination days are surely difficult for anyone who has ever been treated in the way Bircher was.

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