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Last Updated: Monday, 6 November 2006, 16:55 GMT
Mew criticises Olympic final plan
By Phil Harlow

British swimmer Darren Mew
We've been used to swimming finals in the evening - that's when world records are broken

Britains Commonwealth silver medalist Darren Mew
Britain's Darren Mew says switching the 2008 Olympic swimming finals to accommodate US television audiences has left many athletes disillusioned.

The decision to move the finals from the evening to the morning was made at the insistence of US broadcaster NBC.

"A lot of swimmers feel it has taken away from the Olympic ideal of putting athletes first," Mew told BBC Sport.

"Now it seems to be all about NBC and it is a shame. Ultimately, the Olympics is a commercial business now."

The Commonwealth silver medallist said the switch was likely to result in slower times.

"For many years we've been used to swimming finals in the evening - that's when world records are broken and best performances are swum," said Britain's 100m breaststroke record holder.

"Even with that information they still decided to move it to morning finals but we're all in the same boat and we have to get on with it.

"But with the Olympics less than two years away it's fairly short notice. They should have decided straight after Athens - at least we would have had longer to prepare then."

But Mew insisted he and his Team GB team-mates would do their utmost to make the best of the situation, and pointed out that he had been getting up early for several years.

British swimmer Darren Mew
Mew is seen as a medal prospect for the Beijing Olympics

"I would prefer it to be in the evening, that's what I've done and been used to since I was eight years old.

"There's going to be some very quick trial and error going on to find out what will be the best solution to the problem."

Mew explained the problems of racing in the morning for swimmers.

"Racing in the evening gives your body a lot longer to wake up," he said.

"Your body is more alert in the evening, you can digest food properly and eat when you want to.

"I think a lot of it is down to daylight as well. If you have to get up at two in the morning to prepare for your final, is your body really going to adapt properly?"

SEE ALSO
Anger at Beijing swimming switch
26 Oct 06 |  Other Sport...
Swimming calendar
17 Oct 00 |  Swimming
Sweetenham unfazed by 2008 plans
19 Jul 06 |  Swimming
Mew makes his mark
17 Jul 04 |  Other Sport...
Mew breaks 10-year record
11 Apr 02 |  Other Sports


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