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Touretski Turns to Masters for Inspiration -- August 20, 2002

By Stephen J Thomas

SYDNEY, August 20. ELITE Coach Gennadi Touretski has wasted little time in moving on after his ten-year stint at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra was terminated earlier this month.

Touretski packed up his office today, along with an impressive load of memorabilia featuring many of his successful swimmers including Alexander Popov, Michael Klim, Matt Dunn, Nicole Stevenson to name a few.

He told SwimInfo that he was not sad to leave the AIS as it was a time to move forward rather than dwell on the past. However, he said he was very satisfied with what he had achieved with his athletes during his tenure and had no "bad feelings" towards the AIS.

Over the weekend, Touretski spent his time working with his 'super pupil,' Alex Popov, at a Masters Camp in a quiet, 25-meter pool and gym facility in an industrial suburb of Sydney. The small group of Masters had the special experience of Touretski's intuition along with having Popov swimming alongside them, demonstrating drills and techniques for the entire weekend camp.

The concept to run Masters camps with Touretski and Popov came from discussions with this correspondent some two or three years ago. Touretski had always expressed his great enjoyment with coaching Masters, from his early coaching days in Russia.

This weekend's camp was the second of what will be a more regular activity at various centres around Australia for Touretski (and Popov with his European season out of the way) now that he has some time on his hands. Indeed, there have been some early discussions aimed at conducting a series of seminars in the USA.

Touretski said he has had several approaches from other countries in relation to elite swimming but (with apologies to Qantas) at this stage still wants to call Australia home.