After winning the 1500 freestyle and coming third in the 400 freestyle at the 2012 Short Course World Championships Mads Glaesner felt that he had redeemed himself for his part in the Danish National Team’s disappointment at the 2012 London Olympic Games, “The (2012) Olympic Games were disappointing for us, so it’s good we are doing so great here.”
“(The Olympics) was a very disappointing experience for me and I will never repeat it. I want to go back in 2016 and do better.”
Denmark earned in total 10 medals at the 2012 Short Course World Championships after coming home from London with no hardware.
In an interview with Sporten.dk Glaesner was criticized Paulus Wildeboer, who at the time was the Performance Director and the Head Coach of the National Training Centre in Denmark, and the program he was given heading into London.
Glaesner who was training in the United States with David Salo and the Trojan Swim Club made the decision to train at home for the year leading into the Olympics something he now realizes was a mistake.
In his interview with Sporten.dk he said that Wildeboer’s program was created to give the Danish women what they needed to be successful and others would have to fit in, “Paul did not hide the fact that the training was not prepared for swimmers from outside (of the national training centre). He told us a few days before the Olympics. The training was planned and organized a few swimmers, and we could just follow. The information I had great difficulty getting a few days before the Olympics.”
Wildeboer had great success coaching the Danish women. At the 2011 World Championships Jeanette Ottesen Gray tied Aleksandra Gerasimenya for gold in the 100 freestyle while Lotte Friis won the 1500 freestyle and came second in the 800 freestyle.
After Glaesner had swam with Salo he was used to a very different type of training as well as being allowed to make decisions that he felt were best for his own preparation, “It was very different. I’m used to swim a lot of race-related training,” said Glaesner.
“There has been some distance, and then you determine for yourself how your body feels to do that day. During Wildeboer it was much more controlled.”
Sporten.dk also interviewed Danish National Sports Director Mikkel von Seelen who felt that the group that was assembled at the Danish National Training Centre should have been able to been able to handle the situation, “The purpose of the joint preparation for the Olympics has obviously been that it should be individualized to such an extent that each athlete could get the optimal framework to perform in London,” said von Seelen.
“This should be possible with the three coaches, Danish Swimming Federation sent with the ten swimmers for the Olympics.”
He went on to say that he could not comment on what Wildeober had told Glaesner since he was not present at the time.
After the Olympics Glaesner returned to Los Angeles to train with the Trojan Swim Club he went on to great success at the World Short Championships in December. During the competition neither he nor Wildeboer had much to say to one another, “I came home for the World Championships to swim, not to have a confrontation with Paul. It went fine, he said congratulations to me after my 1,500-meters, and that was it. In addition to that, we had nothing to talk about. That was fine with me.”
von Seelen told Sporten.dk that Glaesner came to him before the World Championships and informed him about the situation, “I’ll just add that Mads had a personal meeting with me two or three days before departure, where Mads explained about the cooperation difficulties with the then NTC coach. Mads desired sensible enough not confrontation, so we agreed that he and Paul did not have to work together in Istanbul. Considering that Mads was world champion in the tournament, I think we with some conviction can say that it was the right decision.”
“It was the last tournament with both Paul and Mads on the team, and I therefore considered that it was more important to get the tournament to run well and smoothly than trying to repair a failed cooperative relationship. I can in the same breath say that my impression is that I have a good dialogue with Mads. I see him as an important part of the Danish national team and I feel confident that we will find the recipe on how he can get the most out of its potential in the Danish national team.”
With Denmark hiring Australian Shannon Rollason to replace Wildeboer as the Head Coach of the National Training Centre von Seelen is quite confident he has found the right man to lead Danish Swimming into the 2016 Olympics in Rio, “I’m very pleased that we have been able to attract a coach capacity as Shannon,” said von Seelen.
“Swimmers can be proud that we have one of the world’s best coaches in the country, for there is no doubt that the strong team of swimmers we have in Denmark, has been a key factor in being able to attract such training capacity. I feel quite confident that NTC is a really positive development in meeting with Shannon at the helm.”