REVEALED: Aussie coach Doug Frost’s Olympic Relay Plan That Sank The US On A Dramatic Opening Day In Sydney – Swimming World Magazine

Posted: September 17, 2020 at 12:54 am


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REVEALED: Aussie coach Doug Frosts Olympic Relay Plan That Sank The US On A Dramatic Opening Day In Sydney

The year 2000 was a dream come true for Australia with Sydney hosting its countrys second Olympics some 44 years after the joys of Melbourne in 1956.

Two Olympic Games that shaped the swimming mad country as a leader in the ideals of Olympism from its spirit to its passion and the coming together of the youth of the world to the community involvement of a special band of volunteers and the unveiling of its past and present sporting heroes.

For one young man it would be the celebration of a swimming career born in Padstow in Sydneys inner west when an eight-year-old boy followed his sister into a suburban five-lane 25m indoor pool that was Padstow Indoor.

It was a moment that would change his life and the life of his coach forever.

Sydney 2000 Day One at the Sydney International Aquatic Centre Enter 17-year-old swimmer Ian Thorpe and his coach Doug Frost the lethal combination that would stamp their sporting greatness on the nation and the world on an opening night in Sydney that brought the house down.

Frost now lives in Mollymook on the NSW South Coast where at 77 years young the coach who was voted the World Swim Coaches Coach of the last Millenium, now lives in semi-retirement, with his best mate Bonza the Labrador, while still working on his golfing handicap.

Doug till keeps his coaching hand in too when asked to step in at Camps in Queensland and NSW and with former NSW coach Gary Hollywood in New Zealand.

Here he reveals the secret planning and plotting behind the success of what many believe was the greatest highlight of the Games when Australia beat the USA smashing em like guitars in the 4x100m freestyle relay.

We had four boys in Ashley Callus, Michael Klim, Chris Fydler and Ian who could go 48 or 47in that 4100to win thatwas one of the greatest success stories we had at those Olympics, recalled Frost.

That was just incredibleI remember Ian ripping his costume and going down there (to see what was going on).

Thorpe had put his foot through his suit, ripping it, forcing him to put on the same suit he had won the 400m in and it was wet and the struggle to get that suit on saw him only just make it to the race on time.

But it was the lead up to the relay that also had its fair share of twists and turns and a decision that changed history.

Don Talbot said to me in the lead up to the Games that Gennadi Touretsky (who sadly passed away last month) would be taking over as the 4x200m relay coach and I said What are you talking about? Ive had the 4x200m the last three major championships.on every teamthats my team. recalled Frost.

Talbot told Frost that Gennadi had approached him and he wanted to handle the 4200 freestyle squad and he had agreedI eventually said, well ok. do I get a team?

And he said youve got the 4100 boysand immediately I thought to myself privately we can win the 4x100m anyway and I went about plotting the down fall of the Americans. They were the team to beat.

So I looked at it and did some research and had a look at all the times by the American boys; they were the ones were going to have to beat and so I did some assessments.

All their first 50m splits were out of this world; and I said to the boys there is no way you can match thatand said if you think you are going to win this thing in the first 50m in any of the splits, it doesnt matter what leg it isyou are mistaken.

And so what happens Klimmy goes out and breaks the world record48.12 in the opening legwow!! I said OK we can live with that

But besides that I had emphasised to them you wont win it in the first 50. But if you can grit it out I reckon we can haul them in when we get to the 100m on the splits.

Anyway thats what happened.. Chris Fydler and Ashley Callus carried out the plan to a tee and we saw Thorpie swim over the top of Gary Hall Jnr to win the gold.

When Ian dived in I gave him a chanceeven though Hall swam past him and he was a length and a half behind. But I gave him a chancebecause I knew all the previous swimmers had gone out like a bull-at-a-gate.and they were coming back and really telling

We spoke regularly about the opportunities.there was always a good chance we could get them in the back end.and thats what I said to Ian at the timewe talked about that.thats what we talked about.And when I saw the boys after the race I was beside myselfbeside myself.and why wouldnt I be?

Chris Fydler came to me and said Ive just broken a seven-year drought.thats my first PB in seven years.and I still remember him saying that to me after the race

TOMORROW: The making of Ian Thorpe

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REVEALED: Aussie coach Doug Frost's Olympic Relay Plan That Sank The US On A Dramatic Opening Day In Sydney - Swimming World Magazine

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September 17th, 2020 at 12:54 am

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