Thursday, May 17, 2007

Fritz Dennerlein: The legend of Napoli

Fritz Dennerlein was born in Portici of Napoli on 1936. He has been one of the last greatest Italian athletes, combining an exceptional swimming and Water Polo carrier. As swimmer he won 30 Italian titles in freestyle and butterfly, 4 gold medals in Mediterranean Games. He won the 4th place in Rome Olympics as swimmer, having unfortunately chosen not to compete with the Golden Italian Water polo. As Water Polo player he played for “Canottieri Napoli” winning the 1951 and 1958 Championships. With the National team he took part into Melbourne 1956 and Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games. He became coach of Canottieri Napoli substituting his brother Buby on 1964 and in 1973 he won his first Championship, following a long period of fighting with Pro Recco. He also won the 1975, 1977 and 1979 Championships while on 1977 he led Canottieri to the glorious victory of the European cup of Champions.
On 1984, following a period of crisis of the Italian National team he substituted Gianni Lonzi in the National bench. He debuted in the bench of Italy at the Los Angeles 1984 (7th) and then in Seoul 1988 Olympic Games (7th). He won the silver into the Madrid 1986 World Championships and bronze in Strasbourg 1987 and Bonn 1989 European Championships. In 1990 his cycle with the National team closes as Ratko Rudic, gold winner of Los Angeles 84 and Seoul 88 undertook the leadership of the Italian national team.
On October, 3rd 1993 Fritz Dennerlein passed away following a terrible car accident at Cardarelli of Napoli.
Dennerlein is always remembered for his great personality and his particular way to lead his players with whom he managed always to have relations of affection. As coach he was firm believer of the zone system, tactical system applied in principle by his "great" "Canottieri Napoli".
Source: Alla ricerca dell Nuoto perduto; Aronne Anghileri and various other.

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