FOSHAN, South China - Chinese world champion Zhang Lin said here on Wednesday that he plans to train in the United States next year.
Zhang Lin of China reacts after winning the men's 800m freestyle swimming final at the World Championships in Rome July 29, 2009. [Agencies]
Zhang, 22, became the first Chinese male swimmer to win world title when he cruised to victory in the 800m free event at the World Championships in Rome in July. He also grabbed a silver medalist in the 400m freestyle at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.
Zhang, who is competing in the Asian championships here, said he has benefited from previous training spell in Australia under renowned coach Dennis Cotterell, whose protege includes Aussie great Grant Hackett.
"I've learned a lot from Dennis and improved a lot in recent years. The most important thing is that I've become more confident after training together with foreign swimmers," he said.
"I wish to change a training base next year, moving somewhere in the U.S., because I think it can bring me more enthusiasm. I expect to engage with the swimming world as U.S. swimming is No. 1 in the world," added the Beijing native.
However, Zhang may have problems in hiring a world-class coach in the United States.
"As far as we know, most of the best American coaches work in the universities while it's impossible for me to apply for university studies in a short time," said Zhang.
"I wish to find a famous coach who works in the local club which can accept foreign swimmers to train with them."
"Next year's Asian Games is the sole big event for me in the near future, so I wish to learn more from other foreign swimmers," Zhang said.
The Asian Championships take place from November 21 to 28, and Zhang only enters 200m freestyle.