We reported back in February how high-profile Australian coach Matt Brown was returning to Brisbane to take over as Head Coach at Parkinson Aquatic Centre, but we now know more details of his actual squad’s composition. Along with local Queensland talent, Brown will have reigning 100m freestyle world champion Ning Zetao of China under his tutelage.
Zetao will be joined by Fu Yuanhui and Xu Jiayu, both medalists in backstroke at the 2016 Olympic Games and both of whom have worked with Brown in the past. Shi Jinglin is also headed to Parkinson, per The Courier Mail, with the squad splitting their time between Australia and China leading up to the 2017 FINA World Championships.
Despite having won gold in Kazan, Zetao was left off of China’s preliminary roster for Budapest. The omission most likely has to do with his being kicked off of the national team for various rule violations last year, however, there is still time for his federation to add him to the roster.
Of the prospect of Aussies training alongside Chinese Olympic talent, Brown told The Courier Mail, “While the squad is new and growing everyday, I am thrilled to be able to offer local emerging swimmers the chance to train in such an exciting team and environment, with a program that accommodates all levels of capabilities.”
Prior to spending the last two years in Melbourne leading the Surrey Park Swimming Club, Brown had spent the previous 12 years coaching in Brisbane with the Nudgee Brothers Swim Club. While at Nudgee Brown’s star pupil was Emily Seebohm, who he coached for all 12 of those years.
Brown is not the only Aussie coach to have worked with Asian swimmers on domestic soil. Denis Cotterell worked with Chinese Olympic gold medalist Sun Yang at various points in his career, while Park Tae Hwan has been training under Warringah’s Tim Lane since 2016.