30-year old Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu has announced that she is parting ways with coach Árpád Petrov and will coach herself heading toward the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Hosszu says that she lost confidence in Petrov at this summer’s World Championships because she felt that he didn’t want to win as much as she did.
Hosszu said that she had tried to overcome these feelings in recent months, but that the underlying problem persisted. She says that she expected more professional and personal attention from Petrov, but that during their time together, she grew to believe that he would not rise to the task. “In the run-up to the Olympic Games, I can’t take the burden of carrying someone on my back again,” Hosszu remarked.
Hosszu won 3 individual gold and 1 individual silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games. This summer, at the World Championships, she won gold in both the 200 IM and 400 IM. She also scratched the 200 back, finished 17th in prelims of the 200 free to miss advancing, and finished 8th in the 100 backstroke.
“I will ask colleagues to time me, but I’ll be the coach, which means that I assume all responsibility,” Hosszu said of her new plan. “I have been writing the training plans myself for a long time anyway; I know exactly what preparation is needed…every day I train eight to ten hours and, if necessary, I drive myself almost to fainting. I decided to train for Tokyo on my own and put all my energy into preparing for the Olympics. I consider the coaching question as closed and I will not make any further statements on the matter.”
The timing of the announcement comes days after the team that Katinka Hosszu co-owns, Iron, was officially eliminated from contention for the International Swimming League title. Petrov also served as the head coach of Iron in the league’s inaugural season.
Hosszu began training with Petrov in the summer of 2018. That move came after a period spent training with USC head coach Dave Salo in the early part of the year when she began competing again after a very public breakup with coach, and now ex-husband, Shane Tusup.
Hosszu previously swam under Salo during her four years as a student at USC, where she ended her decorated NCAA career in 2012. After a relatively disappointing 2012 Olympic campaign, she enlisted then-boyfriend and future husband Shane Tusup as her coach. While she had immense success under Tusup, the two announced in December of 2017 that their relationship had hit a “difficult time,” which led to them attending a major Hungarian awards ceremony separately, and Tusup saying that he would “work to change.”
However, in May of 2018, the pair announced they were splitting personally and professionally, necessitating the coaching changes.
Árpád Petrov is the twin brother of Iván Petrov, who is married to Hungarian swimmer Zsuzsanna Jakabos. According to the report, Hosszu and Jakobos were at one point in time good friends, then developed into enemies of sorts when Hosszu was with Tusup.
Petrov was previously the head coach of the Swiss National Team.