Italian double-World-Champion Federica Pellegrini has named her new coach to be Federico Bonifacenti, with whom she had formerly worked while he was an assistant under Alberto Costagnetti, the man who first led Pellegrini to international success before passing away in late 2009.
Pellegrini, despite her recent success in Shanghai, split with her French coach Philippe Lucas over his apparent unwillingness to move with Pellegrini back to her Italian home of Verona, which she insists is the only place she wants to train. The Lucas partnership seemed doomed from the start, as he was the former coach of French swimmer Laure Manaudou, with whom Pellegrini is a huge rival both in the pool and in more personal affairs (Pellegrini dated Manaudou’s ex-boyfriend Luca Marin shortly after their breakup).
Pellegrini met with Bonifacenti on the recommendation of Italian Federation President Paolo Barelli, and the two seemed a perfect match given both of their past successes working with Costagnetti. For Bonifacenti, this will be a bit of a new experience. Though he has worked with many top Italian swimmers in the past, this will be his first opportunity to be the lead trainer of one of the world’s truly elite swimmers.
The pair will begin training again, in Verona, on September 12th as they head towards the 2012 Olympic Games.