Hungarian swim coach Shane Tusup has begun his journey with Italian teen star Ilaria Cusinato.
Tusup arrived in Italy on Saturday along with 15-year old Hungarian swimmer Zsombor Bujdoso, who he will also be mentoring in the city of Cittadella. Tusup’s first day back on deck coaching was Monday.
The arrival in Italy also came with the arrival of the first official episode of Tusup’s new YouTube series “Olympic Darkhorse,” where he plans to chronicle the journey of the trio toward the 2020 Olympic Games.
In Episode “0” last week, Tusup announced the plans for the new project. The 31-year old revealed that he would coach 19-year old Italian swimmer Ilaria Cusinato for at least the next year.
Cusinato was the 2018 European Championships silver medalist in the 200 and 400 IMs, and finished the season ranked 12th (2:10.25) and 3rd (4:34.65) globally in those events in 2018. She missed the finals in both events, and the 200 fly, at this year’s World Championships. She was 9th in the 200 fly, 12th in the 200 IM, and 16th in the 400 IM.
The video focuses on Tusup and Budjoso’s arrivals in Italy.
Bujdoso is also primarily an IMer and distance freestyler, with best times similar to those of Cusinato: 2:09.72 in the 200 IM and 4:32.71 in the 400 IM, plus a 16:10.45 in the 1500 free, 8:23.61 in the 800 free, and 4:01.00 in the 400 free in long course.
Most of the video is filler, including a longer-than-necessary clip of Tusup explaining the rules of backgammon to Bujdoso, but the most interesting moment of the video came at the end where Tusup was explaining to Cusinato his plan, in broad terms. To paraphrase, at first, they will focus on her strengths, because they “don’t have time” to eliminate her weaknesses. Then as they go, they will slowly eliminate her weaknesses.
Tusup became famous as the coach, and husband, of Hungary’s most decorated swimmer Katinka Hosszu: a 4-time Olympic medalist. The two underwent a messy public split in late 2017 and into early 2018, and Tusup tried his hand on the World Long Drive Association tour: a competition for golfers who compete to see who can drive the ball the furthest.
Watch “Episode 1” below: