South African superstar swimmer Chad le Clos has announced the team of Italian Andrea di Nino and Australian Bobby Hurley as his new coaching staff headed toward the 2020 Olympics. Le Clos split from his long-time coach Graham Hill after the 2016 Rio Olympics and announced that he would make his new training base in Cape Town. Hill had trained le Clos since he was 8 years old.
Di Nino, the head of the European-based ADN project, is best-known for his work with Olympic medalists Milorad Cavic and Evgeny Korotyshkin – both butterfliers and the latter of whom tied with le Clos for silver at the 2012 London Olympics. The 28-year old Bobby Hurley, who as recently as last season was a finalists in the 100 backstroke at the Australian Olympic Trials, but has battled injuries (resulting in some noteworthy, if unusual, swims). Di Nino will be designing Le Clos’ training, while Hurley will be termed “Performance Manger” and will be on-deck running day-to-day workouts and report to di Nino. Hurley has also been named the coach of the elite and development squads at the new CLC Swimming Academy that le Clos will be based out of.
“I’m excited to be working with Andrea,” Le Clos said. “His coaching record is second-to-none and I look forward to our journey together. I need to continue to improve to achieve my goals in swimming, and Andrea is the perfect person to coach me in this next stage of my career. Bobby is a phenomenal athlete in his own right and I’m so pleased that he has chosen to join my team alongside Andrea. Bobby’s drive and work ethic matches my own, so I’m sure our team will produce the results we’re looking for.”
“I am delighted to be coaching Chad and think that together we can achieve great things,” di Nino said. “He has already had a lot of success, but I see his talent, drive and ambition to do more, and I cannot wait to get started.”
“I can’t wait to start working with Chad and the other talented swimmers who will be based in Cape Town,” Hurley said. “As I take a break from training to recover from injuries, I look forward to learning more about the sport from a great mind like Andrea, and sharing my knowledge and experience with Chad, and the next generation of swimmers in South Africa.”
Le Clos is a 4-time Olympic medalist, including a breakthrough gold in the 2012 London Olympics where he beat Michael Phelps in the 200 fly. Le Clos didn’t medal in the 200 fly in Rio, but tied with Phelps (and Laszlo Cseh) for silver in the 100 fly, adding to it a silver in the 200 free.
Swimmers connected to the ADN Swim Project went medal-less in Rio, including Brazilian sprinter Bruno Fratus, who was swimming in front of a home crowd.