British Swimming backed following Rebecca Adlington concerns

BBC Sport swimming expert Steve Parry says British Swimming should not rush into choosing a new head coach.

Rebecca Adlington, who won two of Team GB's three medals in the pool at London 2012, says British Swimming is acting too slowly in replacing Dennis Pursley.

But Parry told BBC Radio 5 live: "We've got to give British Swimming the opportunity to assess what went wrong and put the right people in place,

Continue reading the main story

Us swimmers are like, who do we go to? And this is the biggest thing. We'd like to know who the person is we can go to if we have a problem or if we want something to happen.

Rebecca Adlington

"If you make the knee-jerk reaction you might put the wrong person in place."

However, he did concede: "From a swimmer's perspective I can see why there would be anxiety there."

Pursley resigned after Great Britain fell short of its target of five to seven medals at London 2012 but the results of a British Swimming review showed their programme does not need an overhaul.

Performance director Michael Scott quit last month following the publication of the review.

Adlington, who won two bronze medals in London, to add to the two gold medals she picked up at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, claims the sport is in a "mess" and that there should be more clarity ahead of the World short course swimming championships, which start on 12 December.

But Parry, who won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, says that the swimmer's immediate coach is as important as the head coach.

"A group will train in a squad that have a coach and that coach will report in to a head coach and all of the support systems that go with it.

"But it's a big transition period at the moment with athletes moving around, maybe changing coaches, maybe the structure might change so we need to understand how it will all work moving forward.

"The coach is the main point of contact."

Parry has backed chief executive David Sparkes to turn around the fortunes of the sport and said: "I think he is the right man to take it on.

"The sport has moved on a lot under David Sparkes and no-one will be hurting more than he will be at the moment."