It has been reported on People’s Daily Online that Sun Yang and long time coach Zhu Zhigen have decided it is time to move past their differences and will resume their training partnership on Monday.
Sun has not trained with his coach since a confrontation occurred between Sun and Zhu in early February. At the time it was reported that Sun had asked the administration at the Zhejiang College of Sport for a new coach.
The confrontation between Sun and Zhu began when the coach expressed how unhappy he was with how the swimmer was conducting himself since the Olympics. He expressed his displeasure with both the time he was spending on his commercial commitments and with his girlfriend.
Earlier in the week Zhu told Xinhua that, “I required him to do a deep introspection (for his disrespectful behavior). But he hasn’t done it yet, nor said sorry to me.”
At that point Shang Xiutang, the director of the national swimming administration center, made a visit to the Zhejiang College of Sport where the Olympic champion trains in an attempt to bring the two sides back together
Shang told the Oriental Morning Post that, “My visit was to try to find out what happened between them. They both showed positive attitudes to reach an agreement and leave all the unhappy things behind.”
Shang was quoted in other media outlets saying, “He (Sun) knew he did something wrong, but took a while to clear his mind and get ready to apologize to Zhu.”
“Sun told me he knew it was impossible for him to split with coach Zhu and he understood Zhu criticized him for his own good. They will start over soon.”
Li Jianshe, the President of Zhejiang College of Sport told People’s Daily Online on Sunday that, “Yes, they have already reconciled and will continue working together. Sun will return to the training pool on Monday.”
Although Sun and his coach are headed back to the pool to prepare for the upcoming World Championships, the drama may not be over with quite yet.
The media asked Shang about rumours that Sun’s girlfriend was to become his agent.
Shang answered those questions very definitively, “It’s impossible. The governing body has clear rules that all athletes affiliated with the State-run system are not allowed to sign personal agents. The swimming center will take care of all of Sun’s commercial affairs.”
But when asked if the governing body will allow Sun to continue to date the young woman, Shang’s answer seemed a bit cryptic, “He’s the Olympic champion, who has great social influence. Practicing to keep his form is his priority so we are in objection to his dating during training. But if their relationship is established, it’s inappropriate to force them apart. Our requirement of him now is to concentrate on his training and follow all the team’s rules.”