Two new episodes of Shane Tusup‘s ‘Olympic Darkhorse’ series on YouTube have been uploaded since our last update. The series follows Tusup’s coaching journeys with Italian record-holder Ilaria Cusinato and Hungarian teenager Zsombor Bujdoso, especially with Cusinato’s quest for Olympic glory next year.
The training group takes a little road trip east to beach town Lignano for a change of scenery. Whereas much of the footage in previous episodes center around the swimmers in the pool or weight room, most of this is focused on their drive from Cittadella to Lignano and some fun with ice cream and an arcade before getting back to their regimen. While earlier episodes have captured the tense back-and-forth between coach and swimmer as the athletes get used to their new schedules, this was a move to a lighter tone.
In Episode 12, the squad travels to Budapest, Hungary. The World Cup Budapest stop is coming up October 4-6 — it’s the fourth World Cup installment of the 2019 season and the first stop since August. With a week or so out before the meet, though, the swimmers are getting some training in prior to race time.
Moreover, this will be Cusinato’s first big racing opportunity since she began training with Tusup in August and her first meet since 2019 Worlds in Gwangju. Katinka Hosszu, the reigning 200 IM and 400 IM world champion and world record-holder, is expected to be racing in Budapest as well. Hosszu has split from Tusup, who she was married to and coached by previously.
How Cusinato performs will be a first litmus test on her ability since her new training environment. Her first fall meet in 2018 was the Nico Sapio Trofeo in November in short course meters, where she won the 200 IM (2:07.28) and 400 IM (4:29.41).