By Tim Clarke
4 January 2012 03:54PM EST
AN Olympic year has started with more drama for Jana Pittman, with the shock announcement of a split with her coach.
Jana Pittman has split with her coach
Pittman, known as much for the controversy and headlines surrounding her personal life as much as her athletics, said in a statement she wanted “more personal controle” of her training, so had split with her mentor Phil King.
“It is with sadness that I must inform all that Phil King and I are no longer working in conjunction with each other in the lead up to the 2012 Olympic Games,” she said.
“I am incredibly grateful for the time and effort that Phil has dedicated to me over the years, but it is time for me to take ownership andmore control of my program.”
Pittman, who has been with King on and off since 2002, had her Olympic prospects placed in some doubt after she pulled out of the Christmas Carnivals series in Tasmania.
The dual world 400m hurdles champion was due to race at the two-day Devonport Carnival but claimed an ankle injury would prevent her from running.
It was the latest in a series of leg injuries since her 2007 World Championships triumph in Osaka.
In parting with King, Pittman said the buck would now stop with her, while admitting her Olympic ambition was proving a difficult journey.
“I have been in elite sport now for over 15 years and along the way have had some of world’s best coaches support and educate me on the discipline of 400 hurdles,” Pittman said.
"It is with this vast amount of knowledge and experience that I now feel it is time for me to take a new direction in my training.
"In doing this, the buck stops with me and I am ultimately responsible for the outcomes.
"This has been a mutual decision between Phil and I, and was agreed upon amicably over the past few weeks.
"I am very committed to my Olympic Dream, however, I am realistic about the uphill battle I will climb between now and then.
"I have an incredible support crew and medical team around me that will guide and continue my development from now going forward.
“I am very excited and looking forward to the coming months. I will leave no stone unturned in my quest to achieve my Olympic dream.”
Pittman split with her husband Chris Rawlinson for the second time last April, after the pair first married a week after the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, with Pittman giving birth to son Cornelis later that year.
She claimed her second world title in 2007 with Rawlinson - who won the 2002 400m hurdles title representing England - as her coach.
They initiated divorce proceedings in 2009 before remarrying the following year, with the couple moving for a time to live in England.