Lucas returns to France coaching fold for Euros

09 October 2012 05:47

Controversial coach Philippe Lucas will return to the France coaching setup for the duration of the European short-course swimming championships in Chartres next month after a five-year absence from the national fold.

National technical director Christian Donze said on Tuesday that the presence of the former coach of ex-Olympic champions Laure Manaudou and Federica Pellegrini would for the moment be limited to the November 22-25 championships.

"Since 2009, I've always proposed and discussed with Philippe (Lucas) the possibility of being part of the coaching setup. Until now that hasn't been possible," said Donze. "Today conditions are different."

Donze added: "He's (Lucas) the biggest mouth in French swimming but above all a coach with experience and competence at the very highest level.

"He's part of the team present at Chartres, he'll look after the swimmers directly under him on a daily basis and one or two others whose coaches won't be present.

"It is about something very ad hoc and contextual, the European Championships in Chartres. Afterwards, the result is dependent on an institutional calendar, the election of the next French swimming federation president."

The 49-year-old Lucas presided over the greatest period in Manaudou's career as the French swimmer won the Olympic crown in 2004.

She also set world records in the 200m and 400m freestyle under Lucas, before their association ended in April 2007.

For the past five years he has coached Romanian swimmer Camelia Potec, and worked with France's Amaury Leveaux, 2012 Olympic gold medallist with the 4x100m relay team in London, and Italy's 2008 Beijing 200m freestyle champion Pellegini.

Source: AFP