Swim supremo's notes stolen in car theft - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swim supremo's notes stolen in car theft

By Tom Wald 09/02/2006 06:03:42 PM Comments (0)

The swimming mastermind behind Leisel Jones and Libby Lenton's world record-breaking feats has had the secrets of his success stolen.

Stephan Widmer had his coaching bag, which contained his swimming log books, snatched from the back of his car while attending a fundraiser in Brisbane on Wednesday night.

But the Swiss-born coach said the notes wouldn't make any sense to anybody but himself.

He doesn't believe the theft of the books was on purpose but appealed for their return as they include invaluable information on the preparations of Jones and Lenton for next month's Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

They include all his notes on the training times and preparations of Jones and Lenton since the beginning of last year.

During that time Jones and Lenton have gone from strength to strength, breaking four world records between them at last year's world championships in Montreal and this month's trials in Melbourne.

"I really hope we can get them back and that people around Australia will be helping in the sense to get the female swimmers back on track," Widmer said.

"But I still have a strong understanding of them, it is more that history of what we created together.

"At this level it is about the little things and little details and it has 12 years of coaching experience in that one year of log book."

The mentor felt it would be difficult to find out much information on his training tactics through the log books.

"It is just information and the way the sessions are written doesn't make sense to anyone else, it is in hieroglyphics, in Swiss and English, and years and years of abbreviations."

The highly-rated Widmer has moulded Lenton into the world's premier female freestyler and turned Jones from a choker to a champion in less than 18 months.

He was hopeful the stolen blue bag would be returned shortly so as not to affect the preparation of his swimmers.

"You know a lot (in your head), but it is very detailed information about what you did, how you applied that and what sort of sets you used in the last two preparations which were very successful," he said.

"They ended up swimming world records and winning gold medals at the world championships."

He doubted sabotage was a factor in the theft.

"I don't think people would have known that was my car, I think people were after financial benefits, they just smashed the window they did not even bother to try and go through the car," he said.

"It was quick in and out and I doubt it was more than that, you can look through the sessions but you cannot really copy anything from that in that regard as well."

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