Russian World Champions Stanislav Donets and Danilla Izotov will spend two weeks in Nice, France training with young French superstar Yannick Agnel and his coach Fabrice Pellerin. This training session will serve as the leadup to the Riviera Meet on February 12th and 13th.
This is quite an interesting development. Donets can stake a serious claim as one of the best short-course backstrokers ever. In December, he was a double World Champion in Dubai, and has his eyes on long course success in Shanghai and London.
The really interesting pairing here, however, is Agnel and Izotov. The two are the superstars of the next generation in European men’s swimming, and had an incredible battle in Dubai. As the anchor legs of their respective relays, the 18-year old Agnel and 19-year old Izotov hit the water in a near-dead heat and locked in a battle for gold. Agnel made up a slight deficit to win the race, with splits of 46.33 and 46.48 for the Frenchman and Russian, respectively.
Now the two will be competing against each other every day in practice. If their performance in Dubai was any indication, they will definitely push each other through an impressive fortnight of training.
European swimmers tend to spend a lot more time training with different clubs than we see here in the United States. Even with the recent rush of club transfers, like Peter Vanderkaay’s move to Florida and Eric Shanteau’s trip out west for the Trojan Swim Club, the international “on-loan” training is much more popular across the Atlantic. Though it is beneficial to maintain a fluent training program with consistent methodologies, spending a few weeks here and there trying different things can also help elite swimmers learn more about themselves and their bodies, and return to their home clubs refreshed and recharged.