View Full Version : Swimmer Schipper splits with coach

Sep 2nd, 2008, 05:41 AM
Australian butterfly star Jessicah Schipper has split with long-time coach Ken Wood after he helped coach the Chinese swimmer who beat her in Beijing.

The move follows a mixed Olympics for Schipper, who trailed home for the bronze medal in the 200m butterfly while Liu Zige took the gold medal, smashing Schipper's world record by 1.22 seconds in the process.

Schipper, 21, also took bronze in the 100m butterfly behind compatriot Libby Trickett, but finished on a high when she was part of the gold medal-winning Australian 4x100m medley relay team.

Schipper's parents Jenny and Wolfgang were angered by Wood's decision to help Liu beat their daughter, whom he has coached for nearly 10 years.

Liu had spent time training alongside Schipper in Brisbane earlier in the year and had also purchased a training program from Wood.

Wood, 78, says his split with Schipper is amicable.

"You have the feeling that these things are coming," he told ABC Radio.

"I spoke with Wolf ... and he expressed concerns about my coaching international swimmers and he asked me if I was going to continue doing that.

"And I said, `Yes I am, I'm a swimming coach, I coach swimmers, that's what I do'".

Wood said in Beijing he had sold Liu a training program but denied it was Schipper's own program.

"All (the Chinese) were doing was giving me a fee for two programs which weren't specific to Jess because everyone's different and capable of different work," Wood said at the time.

"Of course I wanted Jess to win and at that stage Liu was nowhere near her class."

Wood said he was shocked when two Chinese swimmers finished ahead of Schipper in the Beijing final.

Wood said he had told Schipper's parents he had previously coached English swimmers as well and that it was not a conflict of interest.

"I said `You've got to look at it realistically Wolf, I get probably $1,370 or somewhere around there for coaching Jess for 12 months and these people gave me $1,500 for four weeks'," he said.

"I have to run a business."

Wood said he accepted Schipper's decision and there were no hard feelings.

He said he had recommended that she seek coaching from Stephan Widmer, who has coached fellow Queenslanders and world record holders Leisel Jones and Libby Trickett.


Sep 2nd, 2008, 06:29 AM
Good for Jessicah. She's plateaued of late.

Sep 2nd, 2008, 09:17 AM
Good move :)

Sep 2nd, 2008, 08:54 PM
good choice, if she goes to train with windmer is a very good choice..