Gennadi Turetzki is deadPhoto: Marco Kohlmeyer / picture-alliance / dpa
Former Russian swimming coach Gennadi Turetzki died on Friday at the age of 71, the Russian swimming association announced. The portal swimmingworldmagazine.com reported that the cause of death was a stroke. Turetzki is a legendary trainer in swimming, he led numerous athletes to successes at European and World Championships as well as at the Olympic Games. Turetzki was known in particular as the coach of top sprinter Alexander Popow.
"The coach who opened the world to Alexander Popov, who worked with the stars of world swimming, has died," said Vladimir Salnikov, President of the Russian Swimming Federation: "This is a great loss for the entire swimming community."
Turetzki was born in 1949 and began swimming as a child. Later he was one of the best swimmers in the Soviet Union, but the Russian was not as successful as his later protégés as an athlete. Turetzki later became a coach, from 1979 he worked for the Russian national team, which he supervised at the Olympic Games in Seoul and Barcelona, among others.
Innovative training approach
In the 1990s, Turetzki began working with Alexander Popow, who won a total of four Olympic gold medals in the 50 and 100 meters freestyle in Barcelona in 1992 and in Atlanta in 1996. Turetzki's approach to training is considered to be outstanding, focusing less on strength and more on technology and efficiency. His degree in biomechanics also helped him understand swimming and wave movements.
Turetzki moved from Russia to Australia in 1992 and took Popov with him. In Australia Turetzki also trained the future world and Olympic champion Michael Klim. In 2001 the Russian was suspended for possession of the doping agent stanozolol, but the sentence was later lifted.
In the early 2000s, Turetzki moved to Switzerland and coached the country's national team. Later he also looked after the Australian Ian Thorpe on his comeback.Icon: The mirror