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Despite the good results – there is a coaching dispute in the Swiss cross-country skiing team – Sport

Despite the good results – there is a coaching dispute in the Swiss cross-country skiing team – Sport


An exclusive coaching group led by Nadine Fendrich guarantees discussions. There is tension between coaches Hudak and Pfeffer.

On Sunday, Nadine Fendrich gave the Swiss cross-country ski team a day of joy by finishing third in the 20 km ski race in Goms. For the woman from Lucerne, it was her first podium finish in a season that had not been easy, and even her first in the ski distance category.

The Swiss men have also caused some exclamation marks this winter. Nadine Fendrich's brother Cyril finished third in the 15km classic in Val di Fiemme in the Tour de Ski, and Beda Klee also impressed with regular top 10 rankings and fifth place overall in the Tour de Ski.

A tense relationship between Hodak and Pfeiffer

Despite the positive results, not everything is bright and rosy for the Swiss team. The reason is an exclusive training group with the brothers Fähndrich and Anja Weber under the leadership of coach Ivan Hudac. But Nadine Fendrich does not want to talk about a sub-branch: “The special team will be completely outside the system, and we work within the system. In the summer we also travel with others. It was initially planned this way in the winter.

Fähndrich and Co. will train. In other locations for logistical reasons. However, the relationship between Hudak and men's coach Francois Pfeiffer is said to be tense. He added: “It is known internally that there are tensions. I also experienced this when I was still an athlete. “In the meantime, things have not improved,” explains four-time Olympic champion and current SRF expert Dario Colonia.

It's simply about getting the best possible for our athletes.

The two coaches do not see the situation as a problem. “We are not the same, even in terms of training principles. “But everything is fine, everything is normal,” Hudak says. Frenchman Pfeiffer sees it similarly: “We don't have to be best friends, and we don't have to go on vacation together. “It's simply about getting the best possible for our athletes.”

However, Lars Brünemann, head of cross-country skiing at Swiss-Ski, talks about a major investment that will have to be made due to the difference in views between Hudac and Faivre. “I try to capture both and be the link between them. That's why I participate so much in World Cup finals.”

Something has to change for Cologne

Current successes seem to show that the system works despite the friction. However, in the long term, according to Cologne, something must be done about this issue. “Continuing like this is probably not an option. Swiss-Ski is currently trying to keep things a little steady. But in the long term maybe change is needed.”