Olympic Darkhorse: Cusinato to Test Training Against Budapest World Cup Field

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).

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Not saying anything about how it will turn out in the end, but I would not think she’d be very fast at her first meet in a seemingly very intense and different training regimen.

Lane 8

I don’t know what to expect at the World Cup. That should be another interesting storyline to watch this weekend along with the first-ever ISL meet.

Steve Nolan

Good thing they’re not in the States, pretty sure right before 8 minutes in Ep 11 would be a SafeSport violation.

Steve Nolan

(I am joking do not yell at me.)

Ol' Longhorn

He’s a walking, talking SafeSport violation.


Ahhh yes, the saga of awkward swim coach-athlete interactions and male yoga pants continues


You are contaminating me beyond any chance of a full recovery. Please, I beg you, turn off your computer.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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