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Australian Legend Will Coach Park

Posted February. 02, 2007 06:47,   


To claim the gold medal at the World Swimming Championships (Melbourne, Australia) in March, “swim genius,” Park Tae-hwan (Age 19, Kyunggi High School) is training in Guam, streamlining through water eight hours a day in the Neo Palace Hotel swimming pool. Park has recently altered his plans so that after he finishes training in Guam and moves onto his second training location on February 12, he will go to Melbourne instead of his original plan to go to Sydney. The reason for this was that Park’s sponsor, Speedo, finally convinced a famous coach in Melbourne to coach Park Tae-hwan.

Many may wonder who this impressive coach is after he caused Park to change his training site. The answer to the question is Head Coach Wayne Lawes (Age 51, picture) of the Haileybury Waterlions Swimming Club in Keysborough, near Melbourne. As a former Australian national team swimmer in freestyle, Coach Lawes also excelled in triathlon and is a former Australian triathlon champion. He studied at UCLA under U.S. Olympic Coach Ron Ballatore as his assistant, during which he trained the legendary Janet Evans (Age 36, USA), who has kept the 1,500m women’s freestyle world record for 19 years.

In 2004 he was the coach of the Australian girl’s team, and he is currently the head coach of the Australian youth distance program. He is also the managing director of Fastlane Aquatics, which is the swimming pool where the Australian national swim team trains.

Unfortunately, Coach Lawes must join the Australian national team coaching staff on March 14, so he will only be able to coach Park Tae-hwan for one month starting on February 12. In an email interview on February 1, Coach Lawes said, “It’s an honor to be able to coach an excellent swimmer.” He added, “Speedo has asked me to pass on know-how on moves such as turns and diving into the water.”