“Very happy to start working with Glenn Poleunis and his PTC Coacing training group,” Marten van Riel stated on Instagram, as he announced that he will leave his former triathlon coach, Joel Filliol (CAN). That’s the second Belgian athlete in one week to switch coaches – a few days ago Pieter Heemeryck announced to stop working with Frederik van Lierde, and rejoin his former coach: Lubos Bilek (CZE).
“I have known Glenn for a while now and there has always been a great vibe between us, I believe together we can make another step forward,” Van Riel continued his message. “Very excited to get the hard work started now, the first races will be there very soon!”
2021 was a big year for Van Riel. He managed to finish fourth at the Olympics in Tokyo, individually, and took second in the relay. He was also runner up at the world championship, so it wasn’t a bad season that made him change coaches.
He told Belgium news outlet HLN that a lot of thinking went into this decision. “I already worked together with Joel Filliol for seven years. But I’ve known Glenn Poleunis for a long time too. We always clicked. By choosing to work with him, I believe I can make another step into the right direction. I need change to make more progress.”
Poleunis trains his squad in Girona (Spain) a city where many triathletes have settled, among them Jan Frodeno. Van Riel’s new coach used to have Leuven (Belgium) as his training location, but Girona is much better, he says: “As the level of the athletes went up, I wanted to give the right example by moving to Girona, a place where athletes can train under the best conditions year round. It’s the number one triathlon city, and we currently work on an international squad that’s not afraid to dream big; a squad that is willing to work smart every day, while having fun together.”