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Turner outlines plans to put paid to Aussies

27 July 2002

England aquatics head coach Ian Turner discusses Team England game plan.

Rebecca Cooke

England's young hope, Rebecca Cooke

Turner clearly has high hopes for Team England. Any improvement on four years ago will prove a massive bonus for an England team mixing experience with some young blood.

“The team of 45 competitors has been together in Loughborough for the past nine days. They are fully integrated and we are expecting a successful Commonwealth Games. We won 22 medals in Kuala Lumpur four years ago, including five golds, and our aim is to make sure we get more than five golds and a better total than 22.”

“We can’t hope to match Australia’s budget and resources. What we can say is that British Swimming and English Swimming are on the way up. Obviously we’re taking on a team who are the current world champions and we will be aware of the size of the task in hand.”

“England can be successful in many events. We’re going hard to beat the performance from four years ago. We do not underestimate the opposition, but we do have some surprises as well as a good mix of experienced swimmers and youngsters.”

Turner also offered his congratulations to those involved in the construction of the Aquatic Centre.

“When you walk into this building and see what Manchester has done with this pool you can’t help but feel part of the team. Just seeing the pool itself is great. They’ve done a great job.”

As for the future of English swimming: “We need to better those two medals totals at this event, while getting as close as we can to the Australians. But we also need to look to things as a team. This is our goal on the road to Athens 2004.”

Breaststroke specialist at 50m and 100m James Gibson outlined his ambitions too.

“I’m very excited about being part of the team. I’m raring to go and have massive national pride. My aims are to swim new personal best times. It would be nice to get a medal, but I’m just focusing on doing my best.”

Freestyle specialist at 400m 800m, Rebecca Cooke added:

“I’m looking forward to the 800m more than the 400m as that is the event I’ve always had the most success in. I made the last Olympic team in that. “I want to do a personal best time and swim the times that I have targeted”

Info News Service/dr/ac/sdb

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