Ahmed Hafnaoui Training With TST In California, Indiana Future Unclear

Indiana University freshman Ahmed Hafnaoui is currently training with The Swim Team (TST) and his future with the Hoosiers is unknown.

Hafnaoui, the reigning Olympic champion in the men’s 400 freestyle, officially began his collegiate career at IU this fall, but is no longer on campus and is currently situated with TST for the time being in Lake Forest, California.

The news was confirmed to SwimSwam by TST, which offered the following statement on his arrival:

Ahmed’s trip to reconnect with friends was a warm reminder that the bonds we form in the pool are unbreakable. Just as we would graciously open our doors to any swimmer, we extend our support to Ahmed as he continues his training. It is our understanding that he continues to be enrolled at Indiana University. The Swim Team remains committed to fostering an environment where elite athletes can chase their Olympic dreams without compromise.

Indiana and Hafnaoui have both declined to elaborate on his future.

TST is currently home to some of the top distance swimmers in the United States, with Executive Director Tim Teeter and Technical Director Mark Schubert coaching the likes of David JohnstonWill Gallant, and Michael Brinegar in the run-up to the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Egyptian Olympian Marwan El Kamash, who, like Brinegar and Gallant, is a former Hoosier, is also training at TST.

Stroke coach Steve Friederang, who is currently consulting with TST, also posted a YouTube video on Wednesday analyzing Hafnaoui’s stroke.

Hafnaoui won Olympic gold two years ago in Tokyo in stunning fashion, earning victory in the men’s 400 free from Lane 8 in what can only be described as a shocking upset and one of the lasting memories of the Games.

The 20-year-old has since become one of the fastest swimmers in history in all three of the men’s distance events, winning double gold at the 2023 World Championships in the 800 free (7:37.00) and 1500 free (14:31.54) while earning silver in the 400 free (3:40.70).

He currently ranks #2 all-time in the 1500 free, #3 in the 800 free and #5 in the 400 free.

Initially slated to join Indiana in the 2022-23 campaign, Hafnaoui was ruled a partial qualifier academically last fall and was forced to sit out for the collegiate season.

He opted to remain in Bloomington to train, where he clearly thrived, and has raced two times in the NCAA for the Hoosiers so far this season, earning multiple wins both against Kentucky in long course (Oct. 4) and in a double dual with Auburn and Mizzou in short course yards (Oct. 25).

Indiana is next scheduled to compete Nov. 16-18 at the Ohio State Invitational in Columbus.

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Dis functional has beens
3 months ago

TST= The Schubert Theater
The old guy “has been” stealing swimmers from their homes for 50 years now. No one has ever dared call him out. He is a disgrace. After getting kicked out of USA Swimming and now even China doesn’t want him; It seems his favorite state of late is Indiana. No victims here other than a young man’s education. Lest we forget how he was acquired from his home country when Ray was caught on an NBC shot talking to his coaches while the kid’s national anthem was playing at the Olympic Games!! Yes while Ray was coaching Team USA. there is so much cheating and stealing among this “higher” level of coaches in America. As… Read more »

Fake Gregg Troy
3 months ago

Is this the actual Steve friederang commenting

Reply to  Fake Gregg Troy
3 months ago

that’s how he talks on FB message boards. Used to brag about 12 year old girls doing 8000 yard sets. so it’s probably him

Reply to  Fake Gregg Troy
3 months ago

Clearly. Have you never heard him speak or write before? This would have to be the most amazing imitation ever to not be him.

SoCal Coach
Reply to  Fake Gregg Troy
3 months ago

Steve Friederang did the impossible and made a news story involving Schubert about not Schubert lmao. Clearly this Steve fellow feels important and wants us to REALLY know he’s involved.

TST, come take your “consultant” back 🤡

Reply to  Fake Gregg Troy
3 months ago

man i like the other steve a lot more…

Reply to  Fake Gregg Troy
3 months ago

100% him. Same dude who defended predator coaches. Same dude who is off the deep end in so many areas, in and outside of the pool. Same dude who just wants you to buy his products. Same dude who has his minor children coach at his expensive ‘camps’. Same guy who talks his way through the sport with big words and really nothing to back it up. Same guy who takes credit for other coaches successes. Same guy with a ‘magazine’ that is just advertisements for his products. Swimming’s version of a snake oil salesman if there ever was one. He will be riding off this SS mention for a while lol

Tea rex
3 months ago

I have just as much information as the average commenter (none), so I will confidently speculate:

Ahmed’s dorm room is haunted. He is purifying himself in the SoCal sunshine while the exorcism takes place.

3 months ago

Someone please post a Hafnaoui/Johnston distance set video soon. Would be crazy to watch.

Steve Friederang
3 months ago

I’ll be striving to find some fun in the tech stuff that begins for Ahmed tomorrow. I’ll be asking him to give me the “WholeNauaoui!” We will analyze video from all angles, use our Velocity meter, etc. But most important is to keep him excited about the next seven months, no matter what happens next. These are people who swim, not swimmers who happen to be people. The day to day racing is fun and also a real grind. One day you see Will go 8:22 Pulling with a band for 800 meters at the end of 8K. Another day short course yards you see David Johnston go 8:52 in the 1,000 at the end of 6900. I tested Marwan… Read more »

Reply to  Steve Friederang
3 months ago


This is what you left IU for?. This is embarrassing for TST and you deserve way better than this. I have NEVER witnessed a clown show like this guy.

Reply to  Anony
3 months ago

yea, he’s a little Guerra-y

This Guy
Reply to  Steve Friederang
3 months ago

Did you really throw a sales pitch at him to get him to train with you?

Reply to  Steve Friederang
3 months ago

Hopefully you’ve learned something since the days where you used to have 10 and unders swim 4000 IMs for time (and seniors up to 8000-10000 IMs for time) at Carson City.

Reply to  Aquajosh
3 months ago

sounds like a schubert acolyte. a match made in heaven.

Reply to  Steve Friederang
3 months ago

who are you?

Reply to  chazoozle
3 months ago

Half nut, half right, half wrong, and …… half baked. 800m pulling with a band at the end of 8K set? Rotator cuff tendons look like bacon.

Reply to  Steve Friederang
3 months ago

In my 50+ years around this sport as an athlete, coach and parent, this is some of the weirdest, thirstiest stuff I’ve ever seen.

3 months ago


3 months ago

mark shubert:

comment image

3 months ago

Maybe it’s the weather.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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