Australian swim coach Denis Cotterell is in a unique position to evaluate the strength of Chinese swimming, given that he has in recent years trained a number of the country’s best swimmers in his Gold Coast-based squad, including fastest man in the world for this year in the 200, 400, 800 & 1500 freestyle, Sun Yang.
‘People might be surprised by the time the world championships are over and realise there is another major, major player in the world and while we’ve always tried to square up to America I think we’ll be doing well to come up to China.”
Another veteran swim coach, Ken Wood, who guided the early careers of the likes of Leisel Jones, Jess Schipper and Geoff Huegill, has also taken on a number of China’s top swimmers. “They’re going to dominate,” Wood said. “Their financial resources are unlimited and they’re prepared to pay.”
Cotterell said the reasons, such as a fighting spirt, strong work ethic and incredible will to succeed of the Chinese swimmers, were obvious. “The ones I’ve had – not all of them but most of them, just train harder,” Cotterell said.
“They train harder than anyone else I’ve had, except Grant (Hackett). Australians aren’t bludgers and they’re training all right but we have to learn more.
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