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Smith gets new coach in Gibson
9:00am Friday 4th January 2013 in Local
KIDDERMINSTER swimmer Amy Smith is looking forward to working with new coach James Gibson and building on her breakthrough year.
Gibson has taken over as interim coach of British Swimming’s sprint programme, which is based at Loughborough University.
He replaces Ian Armiger as Smith’s coach, who has become the technical director for the Cayman Islands after 15 years success with the national team.
For Wyre Forest swimmer Smith, she is relishing the chance to do well.
The last 12 months has seen her emerge as a strong individual competitor, winning gold at the European Short Course Championships and qualifying for London 2012 after an impressive display at the British Championships.
She also produced solid performances in London, reaching the final of the 100-metre freestyle relay.
With the World Championships in Barcelona in the summer, Smith is also targeting more progress.
She said: “It’s sad to see Ian go as he’s been a brilliant coach.
“But I am working with James Gibson 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 with a back injury, has an impressive record during his two years of coaching, helping to turn around the fortunes of the famous sprint team in Marseilles, guiding Olympic Champions Florent Manaudou and Inge Dekker.
He will be coach at Loughborough, while British Swimming seeks a permanent base for them.
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 held 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,” said Smith.
“It could have been in the pipeline before and anything that may give us an advantage in Barcelona is welcome.”