Monday, 8 August 2011

Wanted: A New Coach for Federica Pellegrini

C'est fini. The relationship between Federica Pellegrini and Phillipe Lucas has ended.

The double-double World champion has stated that she will be based at her home in Verona once again, but hasn't decided on who will coach her.

If she stays in Verona then an Italian coach will be the likely candidate - Federico Bonifacenti is the favourite (?...yep, me neither). That all seems a bit too boring, without scandal predictable for Pellegrini. Let's rundown some of the more interesting options for a  temporary or permanent base:

Gennadi Touretski - Swiss National Training Centre, Tenero, Switzerland

Training Partner: Ian Thorpe

This option has the advantage of being close(ish - 270km) to home. Training alongside Thorpe will generate huge amounts of media interest, however the focus on sprint training might not work with her goal of swimming the 800m Free in London. It wouldn't do her chances in the 100/200 Free any harm though...

Michael Bohl - St Peters Western, Brisbane, Australia

Training Partners: Stephanie Rice, Tae Hwan Park, Kenrick Monk, Bronte Barratt, Yolane Kukla, Meagan Nay, Ryan Napoleon.

Pellegrini would walk into a great middle distance Freestyle programme but would have some adapting to do to coexist with so many other major stars. They do love their swimming in Australia though so she wouldn't have any issues with a lack of media interest/commercial possibilities.

Dennis Cotterell - Miami Swimming Club, Gold Coast, Australia

Training Partners: Sun Yang, Jade Neilsen, Thomas Fraser-Holmes, Katie Goldman

If this did happen, what odds would you get on Pellegrini winning the 800 Free in London? Cotterell, the distance maestro, coached both Grant Hackett and Sun Yang to their 1500 Free world records. Jade Neilsen (1:57.20 - 200 Free) represents an ideal training partner for Pellegrini... quick enough to challenge her in training, but not an immediate threat to her 200 Free crown.

Dave Salo - Trojan Swim Club, Southern California, USA

Training Partners: Katinka Hosszu, Yuliya Efimova, Ous Mellouli, Rebecca Soni, Jessica Hardy, Kosuke Kitajima, Markus Rogan, David Walters, Ricky Berens, Eric Shanteau, Dominik Meichtry, Thiago Pereira, Otylia Jedrzejcak

Why not? Every other major name in swimming that is looking for a new coach seems to gravitate towards Salo. Middle distance Freestyle is one of the few areas that this Trojan squad are lacking in is so maybe Pellegrini is the missing piece of the puzzle. There are also a number of Europeans in the training group, and they have a good stable of male middle distance and distance freestylers. The more I think about this, the more it makes sense. Slightly disappointing results from Shanghai for some of the big stars may be a cause for concern.

Romain Barnier - Cercle des Nageurs de Marseille, France

Training Partners: Femke Heemskerk, Inge Dekker, Camille Lacourt, Fabien Gilot, Florent Manaudou (Laure Manaudou and Fred Bousquet - when they are not training in Auburn)

This move makes a lot of sense on the surface. It is becoming a new hub for excellence in Europe, they have no problems taking in non-French swimmers and she can train day in, day out with 200 Free rival Femke Heemskerk. One potentially huge stumbling block is the name Manaudou. This is Laure Manaudou and Fred Bousquet's club when they are back in France and her brother also trains there full-time. Then again, who would have imagined Pellegrini joining forces with Phillippe Lucas?

Fabrice Pellerin - Olympic Nice Natation, France

Training Partners: Yannick Agnel, Camille Muffat, Charlotte Bonnet

Ideal freestyle programme that spans from 100m to 800m, with Agnel and Muffat specialising in the 200 and 400 Free. It's also based in a great location. The south of France shouldn't be a hard sell for Pellegrini. The main issue would be the fact that Muffat has emerged as one of Pellegrini's closest rivals. Would they be able to co-exist, and would they want to?


  1. anyone know what was the reason for the split - was it that Lucas didn't want to move to Italy while Pellegrini wanted to be there with the new man she is dating? if so, can't see her moving elsewhere again.

  2. Ironically (and what a coincidence!), pellegrini's move is mimicking Manadou's, who left Lucas one year before Beijing.

    Very very strange. Although I hope her preparation for london is not ruined because of this.

  3. Aswim- I hope London's prep is not ruined for Pellegrini.

    Seriously British - get your pitchforks out & beat back these hooligans. Take them on !

    You beat Hitler -you can beat the sh*t out of these frags.

    Get off this blog & storm them yourself.

  4. I am applauding those communities who are standing up to the hooligans, like the turkish and muslim communities.

    british cops - shame on you!!!!
    and british govt - this shows how useless you are!

  5. Aswim

    I believe that the British police have been neutered . There was a private vid of a row of 6 guarding a street then hooligans started throwing things at them -they had to retreat & the thugs realized they had the advntage & kept pushing them back.

    I was fearful of their safety.

    They should never be left in this defenseless position .

    BTW The British Govt authoized police protection equipment for guessing?.......The Benghazi police. I kid you not.

    Thankfully these are just hooligans & opportunists not as yet insurrectionists & murderers all.

    My main concern was the fires. Some people who had to flee -including jumping out of windows -are traumatised & homeless to boot.

    I feel for you.

    Olympics ? Take a deep breath.London has lost some certainty.

  6. I think it's fairly scandalous that she is doing this 1 year out from the olympics! Lucas seemed to be working for her professionally. She had a great championships and a local coach may be a risk.

    All I can say is that I hope Beck Adlington is focusing 100% on the 400m as well as the 800m and will be able to capitulate on any possible drop in performance. :p