Julien Issoulié, DTN of French swimming, draws "a positive assessment" from the Worlds

Julien Issoulié, DTN of French swimming, draws “a positive assessment” from the Worlds

“Julien Issoulié, what is your assessment of these World Championships?
It is a positive result. Overall, everything went well, everything smiled when it could smile. It still remains to be improved in many places, especially on technical aspects such as turns or planning for the season. In the management of the framework, we have nevertheless passed a course. Afterwards, it’s quite logical compared to what we saw happening. We had young people who were starting to arrive, we knew that they would improve and that our density was going to grow a little. It’s progressing well and it’s creating density. There are two years left, we will have to line up the wagons properly.

Has a dynamic been created?
I think that the emulation at the start of the week allowed everyone to go one step further. For us, it’s super encouraging to see this density in these finals. Afterwards, you still have to put things into perspective, there were a few athletes who were not yet at their best level because there are the Commonwealth Games, there were a few absentees, you still have to remain well measured there- above.

But in any case, in the dynamics, the density, it’s very positive. We are going to have more or less normal seasons, I hope, in 2023 and 2024, that will allow us to plan better. There is the World Championship which we will have to integrate in 2024 to qualify the relays, so we will perhaps try to modify the 2022-2023 season so that it is as similar as possible to the one after. There will be training courses together, because it’s true that what we saw in Canet created a dynamic between the coaches and the athletes.

“All these young people have a bit of this freshness, this little bit of madness that makes them excited to come swim”

Did Léon Marchand initiate something?
Overall quite discreetly, it is not the swimmer who makes a lot of noise. But he arrived and he set the bar pretty high right away, and that’s driving something for everyone. Everyone thinks it’s possible. If we rewind, last year we hoped that he would do the A standards to go to Tokyo, he had passed a milestone. There, he irons a very large one. It shows everyone that it is possible by having a good program, a good training, by being serious, by being well concentrated. Everyone can progress and I think that’s the way it has helped everyone else to progress.

How did you find it during these Worlds?
The chance we have is that he is very young and very fresh. He is impressed by what he does every time, he also has this freshness or this candor in what he does. I think that’s super inspiring. After when we see Maxime (Grousset, silver over 100m and bronze over 50m) who makes the dam, all these young people, you shouldn’t just target Léon, they have a little bit of this freshness, this little bit of madness which makes them excited to come and swim. We really feel that, I think of Yohann (Ndoye Brouard) for example who wants to swim everything. They really have this freshness and that is the best driving force for them. We’re going to nurture them, tickle them a bit from time to time, but they’re very determined even if they may seem young and sometimes a little crazy.

“Léon Marchand is in the hands of someone who is used to managing this kind of phenomenon”

How will Léon Marchand have to manage the sequel?
We have a chance it’s that it will be quite far from France (he trains in the USA with Bob Bowman), so it will be quiet. It is in the hands of someone who is used to managing this kind of phenomenon, he will also be able to distinguish between what is important for Léon. From talking to him, I think he has a pretty clear vision of the plan he wants for him and all the levers for improvement that they both have.

We are not too worried about the management of Léon. Afterwards, we hope he won’t be in too much demand, because I think he really wants to go to the end of his swimming project, before thinking of something else and when I see how determined he is, the sequence of races, I think he may want to do even more, so we have to see. There’s someone around to inspire her (Phelps) but I think he’s going to want to do a little more in my opinion.

What did the presence of Bob Bowman bring?
We saw where we had weaknesses, where we can improve. Bob is strong on managing the sequence of races. Us, it doesn’t often happen to us to have here and there, we saw right away how he organized that. I think it also inspires everyone to say to themselves that it’s possible to go on, that we can do it by managing this moment well, this transition between events; So these are things that will 1) make an impression and 2) help us improve. »

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