It’s Official: Agnel Explains Decision to Swim with Bob Bowman in Press Conference

The French news site L’equipe, which has been on the front edge of the developing Yannick-Agnel-to-United-States story, has posted some quotes from his press conference on Tuesday. There, he made the news official that he would begin training with Bob Bowman, the head coach of the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, the head coach to the World Championship squad, and the man who coached Michael Phelps to 8 golds at the Beijing Olympics and 18 total gold medals.

Read the full comments here, in French.

Bowman now has on his resume the names of the last two Olympic champions in the men’s 200 free, Phelps from 2008, and Agnel from 2012, plus the 2012 women’s champion, Allison Schmitt.

Among the more interesting quotes was Agnel’s discussion of why he’d left Fabrice Pellerin: one of the hottest coaches in the world right now.

“I want to find with Bob Bowman what was lacking in Nice: warmth, sharing, sincerity,” Agnel said, roughly, in French. “That Fabrice has always wanted to avoid. He always wanted to put distance between himself and his swimmers. It is a choice that I respect and that works, I’m a double Olympic champion and I owe him. Maybe one day we can discuss everything. At this point, it is not suitable for this discussion. But there are things that will stay personal between Fabrice and myself.”

Agnel also committed to swim with Bowman until the 2016 Olympics, and referenced the allure of swimming with the legend, or myth, that is the coach of the great Phelps.

As for when his training with Bowman would become full time, he said that those details are still being worked out: either he would head to work with Bowman now, or he would find a temporary location in France until the Championships and head stateside afteward.

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bobo gigi
8 years ago

Great translation. Congrats! I have nothing to do.

frenchie
Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

BOBO GIGI, you are not the only one who speaks “deux langues”
This is great for swimming!

bobo gigi
Reply to  frenchie
8 years ago

I know that thank you. But I also know French isn’t the first option for most of Americans as foreign language. I have learned in an interview of Missy Franklin she learned French online. Good luck to her! It’s not easy.

Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

Unless you are a latin language leader.. french is not easy.. for me, spanish and italian and much easier than French itself.. but for a Brazilian to learn it is probably much easier than for someone whose mother tongue is English..

So unless missy knows some latin (Spanish probably) she would have a hard time learning French.. Online much more difficult

jean Michel
8 years ago

I felt intuitively that his decision was mainly done because of something lacking in their relationship . Anyway , to train with Bob Bowman gives results at the highest level and it’s great Agnel is offering himself a big change . It will be very nice to see him swim some Grand prix . His presence willl offer many challenges to other swimmers and inspiration . Bravo !!!

liquidassets
8 years ago

Fascinating. Some elite swimmers seem to intuitively know that they need a change despite their success, even if it means that taking a risk to be happier and more comfortable in training is more important than past success, even Olympic medals. I hope this is true for Agnel and I wish him well. Hopefully this will help lure Phelps back to the pool as well!! Or at least draw other swimmers needing a change to NBAC; it would be a shame if none of the US top swimmers got to compete against him in practice!

SwimFanFinland
Reply to  liquidassets
8 years ago

I believe most major athletes are in need of change at some point in their career. It isn’t what you’ve done before was wrong but one just needs a new kind of stimulus to develop. Actually, if there were three different sorts of training scheme in one´s career at top level, I believe it doesn’t even matter in which order they occur. It is like a changing the coach to wake players up. Of course changing the training doesn’t necessarily require the change of coach.

In my opinion many top athletes hesitate too long to change their training when first difficulties begin to show up. To be honest, Agnel seems to be quite forward-looking in that regard.

bobo gigi
8 years ago

Yannick, don’t forget your raincoat. I’m not a specialist of the weather on the East coast of USA, especially North-East, but I believe there’s rain very often. You are used to having sun in Nice, ok not now, but generally it’s the case. Good luck to you.

klorn8d
Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

Baltimore is not known as being very rainy…

Joel Lin
Reply to  klorn8d
8 years ago

Baltimore is known as the Amtrak stop between Washington DC and Philadelphia on the Acela line.

A Frenchman living in Baltimore. Let’s see.

jim
Reply to  Joel Lin
8 years ago

Maybe Yannick gets a house right next to Phelps on the water…now there’d be a reality show worth having on E!

Make it happen!

Jg
Reply to  klorn8d
8 years ago

Lol Maryland is set to have a Rain Tax.

Currently there are excises in water taxes on a formulae of ground cover to hard surfaces for run off into waters .

Now due to
– inadequate storm water infrastructure
– increased rain fall & snow yields
– stunning success of excise
– Marylanders love taxes
– please give us more money

It is going statewide

bobo gigi
Reply to  Jg
8 years ago

You are crazy!

Jg
Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

Lol I studied Public Policy and Administration. Due to the massive tax robber wealth of nearby DC , population in Baltimore has increased after 60 years of decline . Hence water infrastructure is needed .

Other Marylanders must pay for it because Baltimore is corrupt . You might like to read about its jails.

C’est la vie en Baltimore.

john26
8 years ago

Maybe Bowman will force him back into the 400. He is the only one in the world who can stop Sun in the 400free, and I’m sure Bowman will tell him that.

Philip Johnson
Reply to  john26
8 years ago

There’s a couple of young Aussie’s that might have a thing to say about that.

Reply to  Philip Johnson
8 years ago

The young Aussies can be great, some guys worth of Hackett Thorper Perkins legacy.. or at least be what Yang needs to break the WR once and for all..

bobo gigi
Reply to  john26
8 years ago

I think it’s the central question! Will he focus now much more on the 100 free until 2016 or at the opposite on the 200 free/400 free double? No answer today. If Yannick focuses on longest distances, Bob Bowman will probably make him discover other strokes, just to break the routine. Perhaps he’ll swim a few IM races, at least in the grand prix meets, just for fun.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

100/200 makes way more sense than 200/400, if only because he can’t swim a 400 in a relay.

aswimfan
Reply to  Steve Nolan
8 years ago

And he is a better 100/200 swimmer than 200/400

Philip Johnson
Reply to  aswimfan
8 years ago

we don’t know that because we’ve never seen Agnel’s full potential in the 400. he swam a 3:43 high in 2011, but he’s a much better swimmer today.

aswimfan
Reply to  aswimfan
8 years ago

I can’t think of any notable 400 free swimmers in the past who swam PB in 400 after they turn 21.

Agnel may prove me wrong and can swim 3:40, but I truly believe he has much much better chance setting PBs in the 100/200 than in 200/400.

Kirk Nelson
Reply to  aswimfan
8 years ago

“I can’t think of any notable 400 free swimmers in the past who swam PB in 400 after they turn 21.”

You didn’t look very hard! Paul Biedermann, the world record holder, swam his WR time in 2009 when he was 22 or 23.

aswimfan
Reply to  aswimfan
8 years ago

kirk nelson,

well, technically true, but I don’t consider any times swum in 2008-2009

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Steve Nolan
8 years ago

why can’t he swim a 400 and a relay? i’m not sure why everyone is so against this idea. there is more depth in the 100 free where a medal would be harder but the 400, besides Yang, is wide open. Phelps frequently swam the relay right after the 400 IM, and his times were never greatly affected. I know Agnel isn’t Phelps, but Agnel’s freestyle is already superior to Phelps so I think it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

aswimfan
Reply to  Philip Johnson
8 years ago

Well, it isn’t out of realm of possibility.

Thorpre frequently swam 400 free (and set WR) right before anchoring Australia in the 4×100 free.

Roflcopter
8 years ago

Might be interesting to see some yards times from Agnel as well?

JP
8 years ago

No horse meat to eat in Baltimore!

PAC12BACKER
8 years ago

Agnel has almost as close to a perfect freestyle stroke as one can get, on the order of Popov. Scary efficient. He will be around for a while.

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