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Mark Foster hopes history-making swimming team will inspire more people

Olympian Mark Foster hopes Team GB’s history-making swimming team will inspire ‘more and more people’ to take up the sport.

The British squad have already won three golds at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – the most in the pool since 1908 – and have six medals in total with two days of the competition remaining.

Adam Peaty became the first British swimmer to ever retain an Olympic title when he won the 100m Breaststroke, while Tom Dean led home Duncan Scott in the 200m Freestyle for a Team GB one-two for the first time in 113 years.

The Men’s 4x200m Freestyle quartet also topped the podium as they set a new European record to become the first British team to win an Olympic relay since 1908.

Scott also added another individual silver in the 200m Individual Medley, while Luke Greenbank claimed a bronze in the 200m Backstroke.

And it is performances like that which Foster – who competed in five Olympic Games – hopes will encourage more people to give swimming a try.

Inspiring the next generation

He said: “As a kid, I watched Duncan Goodhew in the 1980 Olympics win his gold medal in Moscow.

“He came along to my swimming club. You got to see the swim, see the person and that’s the sort of thing that inspires you.

“All these people on top of the podium will be inspiring the next generation and, hopefully, more and more people will want to get into swimming.

“Swimming is a life skill – people have got to learn to swim anyway.

“If you turn your love and passion into something, it just shows you what is possible.”

Following Adam Peaty’s gold medal which started the swimming medal haul for Team GB, Foster added: “Everyone should be really inspired by Adam and what Adam’s done, I hope it’s called the Peaty effect.

“I’m not saying those kids will have watched from two thirty to four thirty in the morning but they’ll see some of the highlights, they’ll see some of the footage of him and hopefully be inspired to be the next Adam or Rebecca Adlington.

“But whatever sportsperson it is, we’ve found during this last 18 months with Covid that being fits and healthy is important.

“That’s not necessarily about being an Olympic champion but if Adam Peaty can inspire someone to get involved in sport he’s done half his job.”