Mark Foster column: Team GB now a nation to be feared in the pool after a change in mentality


here’s a buzz about Britain and the swimming world is talking about Britain now.

Sure, the US and Australia are still a class above us but teams will come away from this meet looking at what Team GB are doing. It is like, ‘Hang on, Britain are an emerging talent, how have they got here?’

People will want to tap into that culture and understand a programme that goes deep. We’re the top European nation and now third in the world.

It’s up to the swimmers, coaches and support staff to now work out how we can go on, get better and take on Australia.

I really don’t think you can underestimate the Adam Peaty effect. Sure, a lot of good changes have been made: facilities, coaches, programmes, everything is just that bit better across the board.

But every time he opens his mouth, it’s positive, definite, upbeat, full of purpose. His messaging rubs off on the others. Duncan Scott and Co will say as much, you only have to look at his amazing medal haul to see that.

Duncan’s actually quite tough on himself, I see that and think, ‘Don’t be so hard on yourself’. But, at the same time, I like it. He’s the most most decorated British athlete at a single Games and yet he still gives off a sense of disappointment.

I hope when he lands back in London and gets off the plane, he realises quite how much heavier his luggage is than when he left. I hope the photoshoots and interviews make him realise that.

But that disappointment from him, Adam and the other guys in that final race, the 4x100metre medley relay, highlights a change of mentality. A few years ago when they won the silver medal in that event they were really happy.