4 February 2000 - Double Olympic Champion Marie-José Perec has decided to leave her current coach, John Smith, in California, and is to move to Rostock (Germany), where she will be coached by the husband and ex-coach of 400m world record holder Marita Koch, Wolfgang Meier.
Perec had been with John Smith best known now as the coach of double world champion over 100m and 200m Maurice Greene and Inger Miller, winner of 200m gold in Seville for six years.
Speaking to French sports newspaper, LEquipe, the French athlete, who made a brief return to the track last year after suffering from mononucleosis, found that Smith was not dedicating enough time to her (Perec was one of some 15 elite athletes currently coached by Smith, under his HSI group banner).
Moving out of the shadows of the limelight thrown on her training partner Maurice Greene after his 3 gold medals in Seville (100m, 200m and 4x100m relay), Perec has hopes that dedicated attention from Meier, who coached his wife Marita to Olympic Gold and no fewer than 16 world records during her career, will give her a chance of achieving yet another Olympic 400m title.
Marita Kochs 400m record of 47.60 has stood since October 1985.