By Duncan Mackay

Michael Phelps_with_Bob_BowmanSeptember 11 - Michael Phelps' coach, Bob Bowman, has joined the panel which is hoping to find out why Britain's swimmers did so badly during the London 2012 Olympics.

Bowman coached Phelps throughout his career, which ended at London 2012 with him winning six medals, including four gold.

That made him the most successful competitor in the 116-year history of the Olympics with a total of 22 medals, including an incredible 18 gold.

Bowman has since joined TSE Consulting, the Swiss-based international consulting firm which specialises in sport, as a consultant and helping British Swimming will be his first major role.

Bowman is expected to share his expertise and best practice advice with the panel chaired by Craig Hunter, the Chef de Mission of Britain's successful Paralympics team at London 2012, who is an independent member of British Swimming's Board.

He will join a panel that also includes Conor O'Shea, a former Irish rugby international who is now director of rugby at English Premier League champions Harlequins, and Germany's Thomas Lurz, who won the Olympic silver medal in the 10 kilometres open water swimming at Beijing 2008 and bronze at London 2012.

The panel also includes Michael Scott, British Swimming's performance director. 

"Bob is a coach with a wealth of experience and a proven track record of turning talent and hard work into medal success," said David Sparkes, the chief executive of British Swimming.

"We are sure he will make a massive contribution to our review."

Michael Phelps_medal_collectionBob Bowman coached Michael Phelps to a record 22 medals, 18 of them gold

Britain's swimmers finished 15th overall in London with only three medals, a silver and two bronzes – well below the minimum target of five they had been set.

The poor performance has put in jeopardy the amount of funding the sport receives from Government agency UK Sport, who in its last round of funding in 2009 awarded it more than £25 million ($39 million/€32 million) for the next four years. 

Phelps recently won his fifth American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) Coach of the Year Award, making him the most honoured coach in the 41 years of the award.

Besides working with Phelps at London 2012, Bowman also coached America's Allison Schmitt, who won three gold a silver and a bronze.

Bowman has joined TSE's Sport Performance division, which was llaunched in 2009 and is headed by Steve Roush, former chief of sports performance at the United States Olympic Committee, where he oversaw a period of record success for USA's Olympians.

"I am pleased to join an outstanding team of dedicated and knowledgeable professionals at TSE Consulting, a company which I have respected for many years," said Bowman.

"I hope to make a positive contribution to the development of swimming worldwide, and I am especially pleased that our sport enjoys such a high level of prominence after the overwhelming success of the London Olympic Games." 

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