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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Sally Pearson chooses former training partner as her new coach

Sally Pearson chooses former training partner as her new coach

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The Australian's athletics reporter Nicole Jeffery has just announced on Twitter that 26 year old Antony Drinkwater-Newman is Sally Pearson's new coach.

Drinkwater-Newman was a training partner of Pearson's at the Gold Coast Victory Athletic Club.

According to Twitter:

@nicolejeffery3m
Sally Pearson has chosen one of her former assistant coaches and training partners Antony Drinkwater-Newman as her new coach.

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Athletics Australia Website
14th Ocotber 2013


http://www.athletics.com.au/home/news/news/2013/october/sally_pearson_announces_new_co

Sally Pearson announces new coach

Olympic champion Sally Pearson (Qld) announced this morning that her new coach would be the Gold Coast-based Antony Drinkwater-Newman.

Drinkwater-Newman currently has a junior training squad on the Gold Coast, but previously has been employed by Queensland Athletics in a coaching capacity and has been the Assistant Coach to Sharon Hannan from 2006 to 2011.

Pearson stated: “Antony and I have trained together over many years in the same squad and also while he was Sharon’s assistant. I was excited by the fresh ideas that Antony has developed and I know that we work well together. Antony will be able to train beside me and that will be special. He is the logical choice for me and I am really keen to resume training shortly.

“I have a well developed team around me and they will provide support to Antony in this early phase of developing our athlete - coach relationship. I expect to be in peak condition for the IAAF World Indoor Championships in early March, as well as the Australian domestic season, and eagerly look forward to the preparation under Antony’s supervision.”

Drinkwater-Newman said: “This is an exciting opportunity for a coach and I thank Sally and Athletics Australia for their faith. In our sport success is measured in 100ths of a second and my mission is to ensure that Sally finishes in front every time she races.”

Pearson’s manager Robert Joske commented: “Sally and Antony met with Athletics Australia’s Head Coach last Friday where Antony presented his credentials. Sally has been very thorough in her research and her Athlete Performance Advisor Eric Hollingsworth welcomes and supports her choice, and looks forward to working closely with Antony in the years to come.”

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http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/sharon-hannan-mentored-sally-pearsons-new-coach-antony-drinkwater-newman/story-e6frg7mf-1226739891282#sthash.nx9ljX32.dpuf

Sharon Hannan mentored Sally Pearson's new coach Antony Drinkwater-Newman

by: Nicole Jeffery
The Australian
October 15, 2013


OLYMPIC champion Sally Pearson's old coach Sharon Hannan has taught her new coach Antony Drinkwater-Newman much of what he knows about guiding an elite athlete.

Pearson announced yesterday that Hannan's former assistant coach Drinkwater-Newman would guide her into the future after she left Hannan, her mentor of 14 years, last week.

The Gold Coast coach was also Pearson's training partner for many years and knows her well.

"I was excited by the fresh ideas that Antony has developed and I know that we work well together," Pearson said. "Antony will be able to train beside me and that will be special. He is the logical choice for me and I am really keen to resume training shortly."

Hannan, who admitted she was still hurting after their split, agreed that Drinkwater-Newman was a logical step for Pearson.

"He worked with me for six years and then he left to go to Queensland Athletics (in 2011) as a development officer," Hannan said. "I can understand why Sal has made that choice because they were training partners for many years. He put his career aspirations aside to help her as an athlete.

"It's probably not a bad thing (that he will coach Pearson). We (Hannan and her husband Peter, also an athletics coach) put him through a lot of courses and mentored him.

"We invested a lot in Antony and he's gone on to do some great stuff with younger athletes."

There are parallels between Pearson's situation and that of champion swimmer Ian Thorpe in 2002, when he left his childhood coach Doug Frost for Frost's former assistant Tracey Menzies, who guided him to his last two Olympic gold medals in 2004.

Thorpe did not set another world record after leaving Frost.

The Hannans manage the Gold Coast Athletics Track, where Pearson and her coach are likely to train, given it is the only elite standard facility in the city.

That could lead to some awkward moments but Hannan said she hoped it would not.

"Antony spoke to me early last week and said he owed me a lot and he hoped our relationship wouldn't change," she said.

"I was hurting a bit and said I would probably distance myself for a bit but I would get over it."

Hannan suspects she may have inadvertently caused the split with Pearson after completing a high-pressure season in which Pearson had to overcome two hamstring tears to win silver at the world titles in Moscow.

"I proposed some changes to Sal and she didn't feel she could make those changes," Hannan said.

"That's when she started looking at her options."

Pearson said in a statement that she expected to be in "peak condition" for her defence of the world indoor title in Sopot, Poland in March, and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July.

Drinkwater-Newman thanked Pearson and Athletics Australia for their faith in him.

"My mission is to ensure that Sally finishes in front every time she races," he said.

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http://www.insideathletics.com.au/sprints/13827-can-lightning-strike-twice

Can lightning strike twice?
By Tim McGrath
Inside Athletics Website
14 October 2013


The surprise appointment by Sally Pearson of the unheralded Antony Drinkwater-Newman as the replacement for long time coach Sharon Hannan poses the classic question: Does the coach create the athlete? Or the does athlete create the coach?

For Pearson and Hannan's 14 year long partnership, which transformed a Little Athletics participant into an Olympic, world and Commonwealth champion, the answer is undoubtedly 'yes' to both.

Pearson, an athlete not only of unique talent, but also possessing a unique temperament, prospered under the guidance of an coach who understood her, having watched her grow up. Hannan, who had never coached an athlete to international level before Pearson, had the opportunity to develop her craft as her young charge progressed, become a highly respected coach in her own right.

One can only imagine that Pearson hopes lightning can strike twice in the same place, making the unorthodox move to appoint her former training partner, Antony Drinkwater-Newman, as Hannan's replacement after the pair parted ways last week. 26-year-old Drinkwater-Newman had served as an assistant to Hannan for five years but has never personally coached an athlete into a national team. In fact, its unknown whether he has ever coached an athlete to compete at the national championships.

"Antony and I trained together over many years in the same squad and also while he was Sharon's assistant," Pearson said.

"I was excited by the fresh ideas that Antony has developed and I know that we work well together. He will be able to train beside me and that will be special.

"He is the logical choice for me and I am real keen to resume training shortly."

Pearson is not the only one backing the move, with Athletics Australia Head Coach Eric Hollingsworth supporting the decision.

"Sally and Antony met will Athletics Australia's Head Coach last Friday where Antony presented his credentials," said Pearson's manager, Robert Joske, in a statement distributed by AA.

"Sally has been very thorough in her research and Eric Hollingsworth welcomes and supports her choice, and looks forward to working closely with Antony in the years to come."

So the question now is: Will Drinkwater-Newman make Pearson into a better athlete? Will Pearson make Drinkwater-Newman into a better coach? One is almost certain to happen, but for the partnership to be a true success, both must.

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