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Carlile remembered as swimming pioneer

  • Carlile remembered as swimming pioneer

    Legendary Australian swimming coach and the country's oldest Olympian, Forbes Carlile (L), has died.

Legendary Australian swimming coach and the country's oldest Olympian, Forbes Carlile, has died aged 95.

Carlile first coached the Australian swimming team at the London Olympics in 1948, before competing in the modern pentathlon himself in Helsinki in 1952.

In doing so, he became the only Australian to first coach at and then compete in the Olympics.

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In his later coaching career, Carlile played a key role in producing a number of notable Australian swimmers, including Shane Gould, Karen Moras and Terry Gathercole.

Under Carlile, a 15-year-old Gould won five individual medals, including three gold, at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

While working with Carlile, Gould also held world records in all five freestyle distances as well as the 200m individual medley.

Carlile's death was confirmed by The Australian Swim Coaches and Teachers Association (ASCTA) on Tuesday.

"It is with great sadness that ASCTA announce the passing of our legend and Number One swimming coach, Forbes Carlile," a statement said.

"For many years, Forbes Carlile was an integral member of the ASCTA Conference and was always seated in the front row beside his wife Ursula.

"He will be sadly missed by the whole swimming community."

The ASCTA also credited him with changing the way swimmers trained.

"His pioneering work on elite athlete training methods included interval workouts, pace clocks and log books, heart rate tests, training under stress and T Wave studies of the ventricles," the ASCTA said.

"He developed techniques such as even-paced swimming and the use of two-beat kicks for long-distance events.

Carlile was inducted into the Australian Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.

Only last week he became Australia's oldest living Olympian, when former fencer Helen Joy Hardon died on the Central Coast.

She was two days older than Carlile.

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