According to her Twitter account, Danish World Champion Lotte Friis will head to Nice, France to continue her training at Olympic Nice Natation.
Friis is the 2009 World Champion in the 800 free and the 2011 World Champion in the 1500 free, as well as the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in the 800 free. Last year in London, she was only 5th in her best Olympic event. She was in the medal hunt for most of the race before fading in the last 200 meters with a final result that was 5 seconds slower than her silver-medal winning time from the World Championships the year before.
Now she will head to Nice to train under Fabrice Pellerin alongside none other than Camille Muffat and Yannick Agnel, a pair of French Olympic freestyle champions. Specifically, Muffat the 400m Olympic Champion will be her every day training partner.
With rumors swirling of the IOC changing the women’s 800 at the Olympics into a 1500, Friis stands to have the most to gain from such a decision. We haven’t seen a fully-tapered 1500 from American 15-year old Katie Ledecky since she exploded this past summer, but until we do the 24-year old Friis is the best 1500 swimmer in the world (and it’s not really that close of a competition, either).
There were rumors that a spat with Jeanette Ottesen has caused the move, but both sides quickly quashed those. “My movement has nothing to do with my relationship with Jeanette and I still consider Paul as my “Danish” coach,” Friis said of the issue. She instead tells Danish media that she is moving simply to find new “inspiration” after training her whole life in Denmark.
Friis is scheduled to make her World Cup debut next weekend in Stockholm, followed by a stop in Berlin, the European Short Course Championships in Chartres, France, and the World Short Course Championships in Istanbul.