SINGAPORE – Belarusian Anastasia Goutseva has been appointed the new Singapore artistic swimming head coach, the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) announced on Tuesday (Sept 15).
She replaces Venezuelan Geraldine Narvaez, whose two-year deal ended last month.
The 45-year-old had previously been the assistant coach of the Canadian national team from 2010 to 2016, leading the team and the duet of Marie-Pier Boudreau Gagnon and Elise Marcotte to fourth-place finishes at the 2012 London Olympics.
The Canadian team also achieved the same result at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Prior to her stint with the Canadians, she had also coached the Greek national team from 2005 to 2009.
As a junior athlete, Goutseva represented the Soviet Union from 1982 to 1991. She later represented Belarus at the Fina World Championships and European Championships from 1991 to 1998.
Singapore’s Ariel Sng, who competes in the team event, said: “We are looking forward to working with Anastasia. With her wealth of experience in the sport, we hope that together, Singapore artistic swimming will continue to reach new heights and retain its position as the top artistic swimming country in the region.”
Five-time SEA Games gold medallist Debbie Soh noted that Goutseva was “spoken highly of” by the Singapore team’s former consultant coach, the late Julie Sauve, who died in April.
Goutseva had worked with Sauve coaching the Canadian national team.
Soh, 22, who is aiming to compete in Tokyo next year, said: “Before Julie left us, she spoke of a coach who had been her assistant for six years under the Canadian Olympic team. We didn’t know who it was yet at that time, but I do know that Anastasia was spoken highly of by Julie.
“With how Julie touched our lives, we trust in the process and will work hard to achieve our Olympic dreams to honour Julie’s legacy and her belief that we have the ability to be the first Singaporean artistic swimmers to make it (to the Olympics).”
SSA vice-president of artistic swimming Steve Chew thanked Narvaez for her contributions to the sport.
He said: “She provided a fresh impetus and improved the team.
“Anastasia, with her wealth of experience coaching Olympic teams and a proven track record at international competitions, will build on this and take Singapore artistic swimming to even greater heights.”