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|August 29, 2000||
Popov trains in isolation
Russian swimming star Alexander Popov will have to train by himself in the lead-up to the Sydney Olympics while his coach Gennadi Touretsky helps prepare the Australian team.
Popov, who is striving to become the first male swimmer in history to win the same event at three Olympics, will train in isolation at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra while Touretsky continues his work with the Australian squad in Melbourne.
"You would like your coach there with you just to help you out a bit, but I've done it before so I guess it isn't bad," Popov said.
Popov, who won gold in the 50 and 100 metre freestyle at the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympics, followed Touretsky to Australia in 1993 when his coach was offered a permanent job at the AIS.
The pair have remained there ever since, although they have regularly gone separate ways because of commitments with the Australian and Russian teams.
Popov returned to Australia last month after reclaiming his 50 and 100 metre titles at this year's European championships in Helsinki.
He linked up with Touretsky to win the sprint double at a warm-up meet in Melbourne on the weekend involving 15 countries, including Australia, before returning alone to Canberra.
They will not meet up again until next month when the Australians leave their training camp in Melbourne but Popov insists their separation will have no impact on his bid to win more gold.
"The thing is that I've done it before so I know what to do," Popov said.
"I'm not chasing anything. I'm just trying to stop the others from what they're aiming at."
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