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Pellegrini Keeps Faith With Lucas

Oct 19, 2012

News Round-Up: 

Italy: Federica Pellegrini and her beau, Filippo Magnini, are training in Narbonne with former mentor to Laure Manaudou, Philippe Lucas. The new Narbonne set-up includes French teamsters Amaury Leveaux and Anthony Pannier. Pellegrini, nursing two fifth places at London 2012 after three seasons of domination over 200m and 400m freestyle, made the move, one that reflects her faith in the assistance Lucas provided in 2010-11, despite an absence of any agreement for funding from the Italian federation. It is not yet clear, reports Stefano Arcobelli at La Gazzetta dello Sport, whether FIN will support swimmers who base themselves overseas. The paper also reports that Pellegrini intends to make Verona her permanent base from September 2013.

Japan: The Japanese federation has named its team for the World s/c championships in Istanbul from December 12-16: Men - Takuro Fujii, Kosuke Hagino, Fumiya Hidaka, Kenta Hirai, Kenta Ito, Kazuya Kaneda, Yuki Kobori, Kenji Konagaya, Koichiro Okazaki, Daiya Seto, Yuki Shirai, Yukihiro Takahashi, Yohei Takiguchi, Kazuki Watanabe, Akihrio Yamaguchi and Kohei Yamamoto; Women - Haruka Ueda, Miki Uchida, Asami Chida, Noriko Inada, Marie Kamimura, Fumiko Kawanabe, Miku Kanasashi, Kanako Watanabe, Nao Kobayashi, Sawami Fujita, Megumi Higuchi and Miho Takahashi.

Australia: Leigh Nugent tells The Australian today that he intends to keep his job as head coach to the Dolphins. Regardless of the findings of an independent review into issues of bonding and behaviour and other matters that may have contributed to Australian results at London 2012 (10 medals, one gold in the women's 4x100m free), Nugent tells reporter Wayne Smith of plans to rebuild the team, including staging a major camp of swimmers and coaches in January, bringing a sports psychologist back on staff and drawing up a new team charter. The Aussie women's co-captain Libby Trickett has pointed to fragmented preparation, with some preparing in the south of France, some in Spain, others in Singapore and others remaining in Australia, worked against team bonding. What she describes is very similar to the situation in Britain, Germany and among other nations that did not rise to the occasion in London 2012. In contrast, the US, after its trials a month out, worked as a unit at camps at home and abroad, entered the fray in London as one and left as one, its best result since 1984 in tow, its domination of Olympic waters solid. Trickett, meanwhile, has her own future to look to: when coach Stephan Widmer returned home to Switzerland after London 2012, Vince Raleigh took over but the sprinter feels that the new programme may not be right for her and a switch may be the only solution. She and Raleigh are due to talk.

USA: The Palm Springs, California-based Piranha Swim Team Board of Directors has hired Jeff Conwell as head coach. Previously at the Canyons Aquatics Club in Santa Clarita, Conwell, who helped seven swimmers qualify for the 2012 Olympic Trials and recently placed some of his charges on the US Junior Team, will start his new job this month. Conwell said: "The Piranhas are giving me the opportunity to gain the important club management experience I’ve sought after within a structure that ensures  I can be there for a very long time.  In return, I bring the experience gained from my 14 years working at the Canyons Aquatic Club and the great things the team accomplished. It was not an easy decision to leave such a great organization, but in seeking to grow as a professional, I feel it is time to take on this new challenge in Palm Springs.  This also affords me the opportunity to put down some roots for my family."