Double Olympic medallist James Guy is set to make his first competitive appearance since becoming the latest World Champion to move his training base to the University of Bath.
The 21-year-old, who stormed to the World 200m freestyle title in 2015, has made the switch to the British Swimming National Centre Bath along with coach Jol Finck and fellow Rio 2016 Olympian Cameron Kurle.
They will train alongside the likes of Olympic silver-medallists Jazz Carlin, Siobhan Marie-O’Connor and Chris Walker-Hebborn in the London 2012 Legacy Pool on a Lottery-funded programme that has produced a host of outstanding results on the national and international stage in recent years.
“I’ve been training in Bath for four weeks now and I’m absolutely loving it,” said Guy, who won silver medals in the 4x200m freestyle and 4x100m medley relays in Rio.
“I needed a place where I could make a fresh start for the next four-year cycle, a place where I can grow as a person and be among professional athletes with the same goals as me.
“When you walk in the Sports Training Village, everyone has the same passion and the same ambition to be the best. I’m training with Olympic medallists day in, day out – an elite group of athletes who want to be the best in the world.”
Both Guy and Kurle will return to their former Millfield School training base in Street this weekend to compete in the Somerset County Championships before turning their attention towards the British Swimming Championships in April and qualification for this summer’s World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Finck, who has worked with Guy and Kurle for nine and five years respectively, has also made the move from Millfield to the National Centre Bath to become National Coach. He will support David McNulty, who has overseen the successful growth of the programme at the University since 2008 and now has the title of National Lead Coach.
“The last few weeks have given me a chance to get to know the environment here at Bath, how everything works, and it’s been great,” said Finck.
“There is a real energy in this building. Every time you come in – it doesn’t matter if it’s 6am in the morning or 7 at night, there is always something going on. It’s a great environment, an inspiring environment.
“Dave McNulty is one of the best swimming coaches in the world and a great friend. We are both very excited about the future prospects of the whole programme and what we can do to drive the team forward for the next three-and-a-half years and beyond.
“When you look at the athletes who are still developing and will be at their prime at the next Olympics – including the likes of Jazz and Siobhan-Marie who are training here – it’s a very, very exciting time for British Swimming.”
Meanwhile, Walker-Hebborn – who won silver alongside Guy in the 4x100m medley in Rio – was back on the podium when he started his 2017 season at the Euro Meet in Luxembourg, finishing runner-up in the 100m backstroke.
Want to swim in the same pool as Olympians? The London 2012 Legacy Pool is open to the public seven days a week – click here to find out times and prices.