Chinese newspapers are reporting that Zhang Lin, current World Record holder in the men’s 800 free (long course), has arrived this week in Los Angeles to begin a two-month training camp with Trojan Aquatics and USC coach Dave Salo.
For Salo, Zhang will continue to add to his studly interntational roster that now continues further into uncharted waters in terms of the number of Olympians in the program. It also continues to add to Salo’s international reputation, as those Olympians span at least 16 different countries, including most of the major swimming powers.
This is not Zhang’s first experience with a top-notch international coach, as he has previous spent time at USC as well as having worked with Australian coach Denis Cotterell prior to his record-breaking performance in 2009. Zhang was pulled from all of his international events at this summer’s World Championships, with coaches citing poor training for the move. He did swim fairly well in the 4×200 free relay, his only event, by helping China to a bronze medal with a 1:46.14 on a rolling start.
He will likely work in training with Ous Mellouli and Dominik Meichtry, amongst others, and it is hoped by his Chinese support staff that this time away from home and working with two of the world’s consummately professional swimmers will refocus him and help prepare him mentally for an Olympic run. He is still adjusting to the time change and has not yet gotten into serious training in California.
Besides his World Record (and gold medal) swim from Rome in the 800 free, he also has a silver in the 400 free from the 2008 Olympic Games.