The swimming federation of Azerbaijan, that hasn’t fared as well as many former Soviet Republics since the dissolution of the Union on Christmas Day of 1991, but they are looking to change that after signing an agreement with Italian coach Alex di Nino, the head of the famed European-based ADN Project, to train the country’s top prospects.
Azerbaijan’s biggest swimming exploits have been in open water, but the country has a young, very-talented 23-year old butterflier named Yauheni Lazuka, who the federation has ascribed di Nino to train. They have also committed to send future top swimmers to di Nino.
Lazuka was 38th at the 2012 London Olympics in the 100 fly in 53.86, and was as fast as 52.92 in 2009 at the World Championships. This move, though, comes in reaction to Lazuka’s development stalling-out since Rome. In 2007 (pre-polyurethane) when he was just 18 years old, Lazuka swam a 53.10 to make the semi-finals of the 100 fly at the Melbourne World Championships.
A swimmer who is that good that young should have some gas left in his tank, and hopes will be that di Nino can get him back on the right track.
Among the most recent butterfliers that di Nino has trained are Jason Dunford, winner already this morning of the 50 fly at the FINA World Cup meet in Dubai, and Russia’s Evgeny Korotyshkin, the silver medalist in the 100 fly at the 2012 Olympics.