Seven years after arriving in Shanghai with his Chinese wife to start a new life, British coach David Lyles has been awarded two prestigious prizes for his part in the achievements of eight of China's national team members, six of whom have won 13 major international medals.
During China nationals in September, Lyles was presented with a commendation from China Swimming for hits part in half the men's 4x200m freestyle relay that took bronze at the London 2012 Olympic Games: among his charges are Jiang Hai Qi and Dai Jun.
Lyles has also been honoured by the Shanghai Government: the Magnolia Foreign Workers Award is an annual prize given to 50 foreign employees from business, commerce and education for their contribution to the development of the city of Shanghai.
Of the eight national-team swimmers Lyles is coaching currently in, six have won 13 medals between them at either the Olympic Games, World Championships or Asian continental events.
His charges include Ji Li Ping (Asian Champion 100 Br/St; World SC Dubai 3rd 100 Br/St; Shanghai Worlds 3rd 100 Br/St) and Zhou Yan Xin (3rd World SC Dubai 200 Bk) and from the men's squad Sun Xiao Lei (Asian Games 3rd 100 Bk + 2nd world SC Dubai 50Bk); Jiang Hai Qi and Dai Jun (3rd in Olympic 4x200 Fr Relay).
Lyles's tenure in Shanghai has coincided with a greater engagement with the rest of the world by China's swim federation, including sending large numbers of national teamsters for periodic training camps in Australia.