London 2012: Plymouth Leander duo to coach at Olympics

Two coaches from Plymouth Leander Swimming Club will be assisting competitors from Lithuania and Uganda at London 2012.

John Rudd and Lindsay Dunn will be part of the country's teams at the Olympics as they help two 15-year-olds who study at Plymouth College.

Rudd is coaching Ruta Meilutyte as she swims the 100m breaststroke and 50m and 100m freestyle for Lithuania.

Jamila Lunkuse, who swims in the 50m freestyle, is being coached by Dunn.

The pair moved to England to help try and advance their sporting careers and train at the same swimming complex in Plymouth as British Olympic divers Tom Daley and Tonia Couch.

Rudd has already been part of the Lithuanian coaching set-up as he helped Meilutyte at the European Youth Olympics and believes the youngster has the potential to do well, especially in her best event, the 100m breaststroke.

"If she swims the fastest time that she's ever swum she won't be far off the final," Rudd told BBC South West.

"Once you're in the final at an Olympic Games it's open season because that's when the nerves begin to jangle.

"Some of the big names tend to crumble and when you're a bit of an unknown and a young upstart with nothing to lose quite often you're in the best position.

"Her best time would probably rank her in the top 10 in the world and the top eight will swim in that final."

Meilutyte added: "It means a lot to me that Jon's going to be there to support me.

"Me and John have an amazing relationship and he understands me and always helps me."

Plymouth Leander have produced a host of international swimmers and are represented in the British team by Antony James in the 100m butterfly.

Lunkuse is one of just two swimmers from Uganda competing in London and Dunn says it is an honour to help her.

"Jamila's father discussed it with me a while ago as he's involved in the Ugandan Olympic committee," she said.

"I was delighted to be offered the position and I'm really excited."

While Lunkuse is unlikely to feature in the latter stages of the sprint event, Dunn says she is is confident that she will rise to the occasion.

"You're always nervous when any of your swimmers dive in and race, but Jamila's a very hard-working girl and she always competes to the very best of her ability and that's all you can ever ask of a swimmer," she added.

"Great coaching is a two-way process - not only do I have great experience but their head coach does as well.

"We've already spent time picking each other's brains and talking about things that we do.

"You should never be a closed book as a coach, you should always be open to new ideas."

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