The Energy Standard Training group, usually based in Turkey, has been unable to resume training there since before they dispersed for the Christmas break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Current travel restrictions, as a result of rising Covid-19, have meant that the group never returned in the new year to their base in the Gloria Sports Arena. With the pandemic worsening in many countries across the world, head coach James Gibson said: “It’s not the best time to run an international program.”
He added: “All of the group are training at home to get some consistency in their work toward the summer.”
Sjostrom, a multi-world record holder and Olympic gold medallist, will look to defend her title in the 100m butterfly at this year’s Olympiad. Her teammates, Manaudou and Blume are Olympic medallists in the 50m freestyle, earning a silver and gold medal respectively at the 2016 edition of the event.
South African Chad le Clos will have his sights firmly set on this summer’s Games after what he declared to be a disappointing run in Rio. However, he is still his country’s most decorated Olympian, with one gold and three silver medals in total.
From recent social posts, coaches and athletes within the team are staying put in their respective home nations. At present, SwimSwam is aware that Blume and Manaudou are in France, Davies in Wales, Sjsotrom in Sweden, le Clos in South Africa and assistant coach Tom Rushton in the States.
Ian Finnerty, who did a stint at Energy Standard prior to the ISL season, is back in the US too, training at the University of Alabama under coach Coley Stickels.
Gibson expressed how, “like, many clubs in the world”, Energy Standard are actively “working on solutions to restart day to day operations.
“Now we are sending out programs and supporting athletes from afar for the swimmers that require it. Most have good setups in their home countries and are able to prepare very well”, he added.
However, Gibson continues – stating that “nothing is straightforward at the moment.”
The rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games are due to take place from July 23rd-August 8th this year, a year after the event was originally due to take place.
At present, there are conflicting opinions surrounding the fate of the Games and whether it will be able to continue as planned or not. Earlier this week, an organiser of the London 2012 Games said that he personally felt this year’s event was “unlikely” to take place – although, he has no direct involvement with Tokyo. However, the IOC recently reconfirmed its commitment to ensuring the Games takes place this summer – despite the current state of emergency in the host nation.