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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 July 2006, 15:57 GMT 16:57 UK
Sweetenham unfazed by 2008 plans
Bill Sweetenham
Sweetenham will organise meetings to mirror Beijing schedule
British swimming chief Bill Sweetenham says he is not worried about finals being switched to the morning at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

American network NBC wants swimming and gymnastics finals to be held earlier than usual to suit its audience.

"It seems to me it's pretty much a certainty," Sweetenham told Five Live.

"They're the conditions we're going to have to play with and it's the same for everybody. It will be the best prepared team of athlete and coach that wins."

Sweetenham added: "The only thing I would be unhappy with is if they picked events and didn't do it across the board."

The Australian says he will prepare his team by running meetings that mirror the likely schedule in Beijing.

I hope the other coaches spend a lot of time getting irritated and upset about this

Bill Sweetenham

"Straight after the European long course (from 31 July to 6 August) we will look to run a series of events where swimmers have to swim heats at night and finals in the morning.

"We've asked the Seven Hills meet in Rome next year to consider running on that format and we'll have to address that with all our domestic meets.

"I think we can prepare for that as well as anybody else. It's change or die - we just have to do it.

"I hope the other coaches spend a lot of time getting irritated and upset about this, because that will give us a headstart."

NBC is keen for the finals to be held in the morning in China so they can be broadcast in the evening in America, when audiences are at their peak.

The network has paid $894m (491m) to broadcast the Games, compared to the European Broadcasting Union's outlay of $443.4m (244m).

Discussions will be held in Beijing in August to finalise details of the scheduling of events.

The International Olympic Committee, sports officials, television executives and the Beijing organisers will attend.

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