Shannon Rollason, who began this Olympic cycle as the National Training Center coach before returning to Australia in December 2014, will now be in Denmark once again. The Australian coach has remained involved even from home, with both Jeanette Ottesen and Rikke Møller Pedersen having flown to Australia to train with the coach. Rollason brings three Olympics’ worth of experience to the table.
Pedersen in particular had been vocal about the lack of experience the current National Training center coach, Stefan Hansen had at the top level. Prior to joining Rollason as an assistant at the National Training center in 2013, Hansen had never coached at an international senior level competition.
In signaling his intention to return and finish the job, Rollason cited his good working relationship with National Head Coach Nick Juba as well as Hansen. It appears that the bulk of Rollason’s work will be focused on the preparation of Ottesen and Pedersen, the two swimmers training at the center with realistic medal hopes in Rio. They were named specifically in the press release as swimmers Rollason would work with.
Both those swimmers had the best performances of their career while they were training full time with Rollason. Most notably Pedersen set the world record in the 200 breaststroke, a time she has since struggled to repeat. Although Pernille Blume was not mentioned, there is some hope that with her positive performance last month at the Danish Open and the return of Rollason that she will continue to move forward.
Also left unclear was the status of Rollason’s work in Australia. Rollason has been working at the Gungahlin Leisure center, where he coached Matthew Abood to a spot on the Australian 4×100 Freestyle relay. We have reached out to Rollason for comment and will update as we get more information.