Swimming chief: Buck stops with me over Irish swimmers' performances
18:04, 03 Aug 2012
The man with the future of Irish swimming in his hands feels that, while the standard is improving, there is still a long way to go before Ireland's swimmers will be world class.
Swim Ireland high performance chief Peter Banks has had to deal with two of his four swimmers dealing with illness this week, with one personal best secured along the way, but no semi-finalists yet.
He has been telling Will Downing that swimming in Ireland is getting there, but still needs improvement and accepted that the buck stops with him.
He said: "Of course it does, it's my job as high performance director to make sure we deliver. This is about putting systems in place and making sure that over the long term that we can produce consistent performances.
"This group of athletes are part of the performance programme that I have put in place for the past two and a half to three years. I think the full benefit of that won't be seen until the next couple of years."
Banks admitted that Grainne Murphy wasn't right for racing this week at the Olympics which resulted in her disappointing performance in her only race of the games, the 200m freesyle, and her pulling out of the women's 400m and 800m freestyle events.
Ireland's high performance director said: "You saw a swimmer that desperately wanted to try and compete, we felt that she would have been a bit better than that. When she swam the 4.19, we felt that in her best interest it wasn't really worth putting her into that race and looking at what made the 800m final, knowing that she made 8.29 three or four months ago, it is bitterly disappointing because we know we had an athlete that could have made the final here."
On Melanie Nocher's gastro enteritis, Banks claimed that they couldn't have planned for it.
He said: "Last couple of days she got a tummy bug and it seemed to affect her. She did okay in the 100m, coming out of that we were expecting a better swim. It's like another hand that is dealt to us, she swam really well seven weeks ago to make it here, has trained excellently and has had a really great camp.
"It's not what you want and you can never plan for these things, but obviously you try and make sure they don't happen in the future either."