BEIJING, CHINA - AN Australian swim coach has sparked a storm after admitting selling the training programme used by his protege Jessica Schipper for 'big money' to the Chinese girl who beat her at the Olympics.
Ken Wood sold his top-secret training methods, which transformed Schipper into a world-record breaking 200m butterflyer, to the Chinese coach of Liu Zige, according to News Ltd newspapers in Australia on Sunday.
Previously unknown, Liu came out of nowhere to win gold in the event here and shatter Schipper's world record by 1.22 seconds in the process, leaving the Australian a distant third.
'They pay for the programmes,' Wood was quoted as saying. 'They pay good money, big money. I wouldn't help them for nothing.'
Wood denied betraying Schipper, saying he hadn't trained her since Australia's Olympic trials in March.
The 78-year-old, in the coaching business for 40 years, did not reveal how much China paid, but reportedly said the poor money he received as an Australian coach forced him to seek work from others.
Woods, who runs a high performance swim school north of Brisbane, offers a programme for elite swimmers on stroke technique, weight training, diet and preparation.
He admitted he was torn by the sight of Schipper being beaten by Liu, who he calls Lucy because he can't pronounce her name properly.
'I feel bitter-sweet, I do,' he said. 'Money is one thing, I have to make a living, but Jess is my swimmer, I've brought her through since she was a 12-year-old - and Lucy has beaten her.'
Asked if he had cost Schipper a gold medal, Wood replied: 'I don't know. I can't answer that. But I wanted Jess to win. My heart is with Jess. I wanted gold for her. I didn't want Lucy to win.' -- AFP