Italian superstar Federica Pellegrini, who won two gold medals in the 200 and 400 freestyles at the Shanghai World Championships, is in search of a new coach, as she discussed on her blog today.
Pellegrini has officially split with her previous coach Philippe Lucas, a Frenchman, following a successful run to the World Championships. While the ending of her relationship with Lucas is reported to have been less than amicable, Pellegrini emphasized in her writing that there was no resentment. The big sticking point between the two is Pellegrini’s insistance that she complete her training at home in Verona, Italy, while Lucas preferred to work out of Paris with all of the support and resources available there.
Pellegrini has said that she has identified some candidates to take over her coaching, but hasn’t spilled the beans yet as she wishes to discuss the matter with them first. The swimmer, who has always been highly controversial, should have close to her pick, especially amongst domestic Italian coaches.
Pellegrini has gone through several coaches over the past few years. After a breakout 2009 World Championships, her coach Alberto Castagnetti unexpectedly died following heart surgery. An Italian coach, Stefano Morini, didn’t pan out either after some disappointing performances shortly thereafter. And now comes her split with Lucas, which was viewed with a skeptic’s eye from the get-go, as Lucas formerly trained Laure Manaudou, who was a huge Pellegrini rival (and by no means a friendly one, at that).
The possibilities for a future coach are endless, given that Pellegrini will be looking for that coach to relocate to Verona. She has shown no fear of training with foreign coaches, but given Pellegrini’s recent history of running through coaches quickly, it could be tough to find one who’s willing to relocate and put all of their eggs into a basket that’s tenative at best.
Aside from that Pellegrini’s language seems to have her optomistic for the future. Her perspective on the issue seems to be mostly positive and rational, recognizing that she had a fantastic World Championship meet, but she wants what she wants, which is to train at her home in Verona.
Full context of Pellegrini’s blog post, roughly translated into english (probably poorly) by me:
Recently, between Spinea and Verona ,I have been reflecting upon my coach the future. As I’ve always said, my base (aside from college), will remain home and that means Verona.
Starting from this idea I have a few roads that I open my choice for the new coach… but will consider all very carefully and very rationally, because next year is the Olympic year. I have some ideas I whirl in the head and these days, and I’ll talk with all of the stakeholders.
As for Philippe (Lucas): in order to clarify the things left over in Shanghai, but without any kind of resentment, I know that this was a type of change (from Paris to Verona ) that would have been very difficult to Philippe (Lucas).
I thank him because we tied and succeeded in two medals that were a repeat of those that I had won gold in Rome 2009, and we all know that repeating is never easy and especially seeing what happened to my life over the last two years. Thanks Philippe! For other names I will leave you on hold for a while because I feel it best to talk to them first.
A hug all and happy holidays!