The French Swimming Federation (FFN) announced in a press release that it held interviews for the position of National Technical Director (DTN) for the national team last Friday, January 23 with the three remaining candidates: Roxana Maracineanu, Jacques Favre, and Philippe Hellard.
Roxana Maracineanu – If selected, Maracineanu would be the first woman DTN in the history of French swimming. And how fitting. Maracineanu, who is a native of Bucharest, became France’s first female world champion when she won the 200 back in 1998 at the World Championships. Although she has never served as a technical director, she believes her management experience, as well as her history in the sport, have equipped her to do the job.
Jacques Favre – Favre is the director of the sports commission of the Cercle des Nageurs de Marseille, the club that houses Florent Manaudou, Fabien Gilot, Fred Bousquet, Camille Lacourt, Mehdy Metella, Grégory Mallet, and Giacomo Perez-Dortona, amongst others.
Philippe Hellard – Hellard runs the research department at the French Federation. As such, he has published numerous reports on the physiology of swimmers, treating such topics as swimming injuries, the effects of taper, and threshold saturation, amongst others.
The National Technical Director position has been vacant since September 2014, when then-DTN Lionel Horter abruptly resigned. The FFN immediately invited interested parties to submit applications and by November 9 and hoped to interview the top 3-5 candidates during the French Short Course Nationals in Montpellier at the end of November.
On November 25, Federation president Francis Luyce announced that 17 people had submitted resumes but warned that the new DTN must meet certain conditions: he or she must (1) live in Paris, (2) get along with the FFN president, and (3) commit to 10 years. Luyce told the press, “We are two years away from the Olympic Games in Rio. The new DTN can’t come in and change everything. We still have our plans for Tokyo in 2020 and Paris in 2024. I want to be very clear about that. It’s a condition sina qua non that the person we chose will be with us for ten years.”
The Federation will announce their choice on February 14 in Amiens.