PHOENIX, Arizona, May 21. OLYMPIC champion Yannick Agnel held a press conference today to explain his decision to move to the United States and train with Bob Bowman at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, an announcement he made to L'Equipe yesterday.
In the press conference, Agnel stated that his relationship with longtime coach Fabrice Pellerin had soured in the past few days. A disagreement cemented Agnel's decision to find a new coach, and the 200 free gold medalist said Bowman was the only logical choice.
“Bob Bowman struck me as obvious,” Agnel said. “I want to have fun, go further. Baltimore is a good solution. With Bob, we'll walk hand in hand at least to Rio.”
That last statement has major implications for Bowman and Agnel's relationship. Initially, it was believed that Agnel would come to the United States for a brief stint with Bowman, but now it appears the Frenchman will stick around for at least three years.
Though Agnel pointed out the differences he had with Pellerin recently, he was quick to praise him for guiding him to success.
“I want to find (in) Bob Bowman what was lacking in Nice: warmth, sharing, sincerity … that Fabrice has always wanted to avoid,” Agnel said. “He (Pellerin) always wanted to put distance between himself and his swimmers. It is a choice that I respect and that works, I'm double Olympic champion and I owe him.”
Agnel did not give a date for his official arrival in the United States.