Turkey moves to sign Phelps’ coach

Turkey moves to sign Phelps’ coach

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey moves to sign Phelps’ coach

Turkish swimmers achieved 22 national records in the recent European championships in France, and advanced to the finals 13 times. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

The Turkish Swimming Federation is in talks to sign Bob Bowman, the famous former coach of superstar swimmer Michael Phelps, the federation’s chairman, Ahmet Mazhar Bozdoğan, has announced.

“We met him during the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Istanbul and asked him whether he would be interested in working in Turkey or not, and he was positive about the idea,” Bozdoğan told Anatolia news agency yesterday. “Then we arranged a second meeting. If we can agree on his fee and other details, we will shake hands.”

The U.S. coach will be in the Turkish capital for talks today.

Bozdoğan said the details of Bowman’s possible assignments had not yet been finalized.

“The details are not clear yet. We need to talk to him first, and the program will be shaped next,” Bozdoğan said, adding that Bowman could either work as the national team coach or provide grassroots training.

Bowman was working with Phelps when the American swimming superstar broke an Olympic record by winning eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games.

The move to sign Bowman comes at a time when Turkey is taking steps in swimming, a branch in which it has little tradition. Last year, Turkey had two promising Short Course Championships campaigns.

Turkish swimmers set 22 national records at the European Championships in Chartres, France, advancing to the finals 13 times.

The European campaign was followed by the World Short Course Championships in Istanbul, where the host nation produced three finalists, a first for Turkey in the competition.