Jedrzejczak Seeks New Start In Budapest
Oct 15, 2008 - Craig Lord
Otylia Jedrzejczak, the Polish former world and Olympic champion who struggled to find best form in Beijing, is seeking to train in Budapest, Hungary, under the guidance of coach Turi György, mentor to Laszlo Cseh. An agreement is expected to be worked out between the Polish and Hungarian federations to grant Jedrzejczak her wish for a change of scene.
A move to Budapest would put to rest suggestions that Jedrzejczak would retire in the wake of disappointing results at the Olympic Games in August: she finished 9th in 200m freestyle, 17th in the 100m butterfly and then just missed a medal in the 200m butterfly as defending champion in a race that saw two Chinese newcomers finish first and second.
A switch to Hungary would also mark a break from a traumatic time at home for the Polish champion. On 1 October 2005 she was injured in a car accident, which killed her 19-year-old brother, Szymon. She was subsequently prosecuted and punished for having caused an accident that resulted in her passenger's death.
In a February 2007 trial in Warsaw, Prosecutors pressed for a 2-year suspended prison sentence. Jędrzejczak pressed for an acquittal, on the grounds that her brother's death had been punishment enough for her mistake.
In 2007, the swimmer made an amazing comeback to top-flight competition, setting a world record in 200m butterfly at the European s/c championships in Debrecen, Hungary.
Led by coach Maria Jakóbik in her junior years, Jędrzejczak, who studied at the Academy of Physical Education in Warsaw and sold her Olympic gold medal from 2004 at auction to raise funds for children suffering from leukemia, was coached to her best times by Pawel Slominski.