France’s Camille Lacourt, whose career has bounced around since nearly breaking World Records in the 50 and 100 meter backstrokes in 2010, has announced that he will spend the next year training in Australia.
In an interview with L’Equipe, he says that he is “looking for new experiences” and that he wants to “be Australian for a year”.
Specifically, he will train with Ian Pope at the Melbourne Vincente Swimming Club. Pope was the Australian Caoch of the Year in 2003 and 2004 for his work with Grant Hackett, Brett Hawke and Michael Klim, among others.
Among the current names of significance at the club include Hayley Baker, a phenomenal and fast-rising junior backstroker, Mack Horton, Andrew Jarvis, and Koti Ngawati. The club sent one swimmer, Samantha Marshall, to the World Championships, and put two, Horton and Jenna Strauch, on the Junior World Championships squad.
Lacourt’s announcement came just days after winning gold at the World Championships in the 50 backstroke individually and as the finals backstroker for the World Champion 400 medley relay.
His announcement mirrors that of American Ryan Lochte, who says that he will spend some time training down under in the next year as well (though Lochte’s trip isn’t expected to be as long, and will be with Denis Cotterell and Miami Swimming).
Lacourt thus leaves the Marseilles club, the most well-known in France, where he has trained under Romain Barnier for five years.