Argentina’s Federico Grabich Sprints Into View On Learning Curve With Coach Gheradi

Federico Grabich and coach Monica Gheradi have their sights set on excellence in Rio a year after Pan Am gold as Kazan world titles loom - by Jorge Aguado

SwimVortex catches up with Monica Gherardi, coach to sprint-breaker Federico Grabich on the trail and tale of Argentina’s Pan-Am Games champion as he approaches world titles on the back of a boost for Argentina from Bill Sweetenham

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SwimVortex catches up with Monica Gherardi, coach to sprint-breaker Federico Grabich on the trail and tale of Argentina’s Pan-Am Games champion as he approaches world titles on the back of a boost for Argentina from Bill Sweetenham



There are just so many great swimming talents in Central/South America. If only they had a fraction of swimming facilities and coaching as USA, AUS or Europe, they’d be the next great swimming power.


Great article. Santiago Grassi (just 18 and Pan Am silver in the 100 fly in 52.09) is another nice prospect to watch. He will have to improve his subaquatic but his last 20m were amazing…. 5 more meters and he would have won.
It will be nice to see them both in Kazan.

Mike Ball

I hate to bring it up but given our sport’s history, I feel I have to…

That’s a massive drop in one year – more than 2% – for a 25 year old. He went from won’t get a second swim to potential finalist at Kazan. If we saw that sort of drop in a Chinese woman, tongues would be wagging.

Does the addition of Bill Sweetenham really generate those kinds of results?

And let me be clear here: I’m not accusing, I’m asking.


Mike, if you are suggesting a potential dope, let’s wait for anti-doping control results.

Chinese (or Eastern Germans in the past) had the state behind with large budgets funding labs, doctors and stuff, so they could hide doping. There is no such a think in Argentina so if he doped it would result in a positive.

I do believe his improvement comes from better quality training as a result of having Bill Sweetenham as advisor.


your concern is valid, but there is several aspects beyond that to improve.
maxhardie is right.Most of Argentinian swimmers don’t even have access to biomechanics.
I can even tell another “old” SA swimmer improving:Guilherme Guido in 100back.
Before any doping concerns you have to see his past races and his current ones.I saw him doing 54lows(100back) hitting the lane FOUR times during the race.Another one:He swimming from one side to another(zig-zag). I didn’t see any of that in PanAms. At least, he truly improved his swim.


I think Grabichs is clean (until a positive test says otherwise), but I disagree with the argument that it is not possible for Argentinian swimmers to dope because they don’t have funding to hide doping.

In professional tennis, one of the worst doping offenders since 2000 are Argentinians.

Craig Lord

Mike. Such drops are big, no question … he’s not alone – but circumstance and players involved are key. I think you’re looking at the results of something implemented between 23 and 25 with this swimmer not just suddenly at 25 – Sweetenham is quite capable of saying ‘forget this year and even next – work through, target X’. It seems to me that he’s getting advice and guidance that is bringing him into line with what his peers in other countries have had access to since their teens. What seem relatively trivial things, such as those DDias mentions, can have a big impact, as can a change of approach such as moving camp for three days a week to make sure he gets in a 50m pool. All of which said, Kazan will be a different test and something new for him, holding form, and I don’t expect a 47.10 or anything close 🙂


You are correct aswimfan, but they were all caught and you are referring to professional players, each of them with their own teams. Agassi, on the contrary, had positives and that was hidden until recently, same as Carl Lewis. Greg Rusedski got a positive for the same reason as Guillermo Coria did (contaminated dietary supplement) and he wasn’t suspended whereas Coria was. Coria was able to demonstrate that the supplement was contaminated (random samples of it) and the lab had to py him, but still suspended for a few months.

Mike Ball

Thanks for the feedback and I’ll take it at face value.

For the record, I think the odds are that Grabich is clean. It is certainly well within the realm of possibility that his improvement can be attributed to good coaching and good facilities.

He’s a hella talent and full marks to him. Full marks, too, to his coach for having courage and smarts to go get help when she needed it.

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