Bob Bowman, senior coach at North Baltimore Aquatic Club and coach of Michael Phelps for the many years, chuckled when he was asked, many years ago, if Phelps could extend his arsenal.
Since establishing himself as the globe’s elite flyer over the 200-meter distance, Phelps has spent so many years expanding his range. The proof is present in his world records in both individual medley events and his standing as the second fastest man in the 100 fly.
Still, in his constant search for greatness, the months leading to Athens was revolving around new endeavors. Already the owner of a national championship in each event, Phelps was to continue his maturation process in the 200 backstroke and 200 freestyle.
Additionally, ventures were planned in the 100 and 400 freestyle events.
Of course, everything is by design. In an attempt to guarantee a place on the 400 freestyle relay in Greece, Phelps dedicated enhanced concentration to the 100 free in that year, confident that his performances would land a relay berth.
Kosuke Kitajima is a Japanese retired multiple Olympic gold medalist breaststroke swimmer. He won gold medals for the men’s 100 m and 200 m breaststroke at both the Athens 2004, and the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic games. This interview was conducted before the Olympics.
Name: Kosuke Kitajima
Date of Birth: Sept. 22, 1982
Hometown: Tokyo, Japan
Height: 5-9 1/2
Weight: 156 pounds
Year Started Swimming: At age 4
Education: Nihon Taiiku University (junior)
Club: Tokyo Swimming Center
Coach: Norimasa Hirai
2000 Olympics: 4th in 100 meter breast
2003 World Champs: 1st in 100 breast (59.78WR), 1st in 200 breast (2:09.42WR)
Tara Kirk won a total of fifteen medals in major international competition, this interview was conducted years ago but gives us a good overview.
THE KIRK FILE
Name: Tara Kirk
Date of Birth: July 12, 1982
Hometown: Bremerton, Wash.
Height: 5-6 (“On my team, a lot of the girls call me, `Little Tara.’ I’m not that small.”)
Weight: 145 pounds
Club: MetWest Stanford National Training Center Team
Coach: Richard Quick
Parents: Jeff and Margaret (both engineers)
Favorite Food: “I make an effort to eat healthy.” (But when she can’t control her urge for sweets, she loves dark chocolate and Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream.)
Name: Kaitlin Sandeno
Date of Birth: March 13, 1983
Parents: Tom and Jill
Siblings: Amy and Laurlyn
Brothers-in-Law: Mike and Steven
Nieces and Nephews: Michael, Thomas, Luke, Sarah and Max (on the way)
High School: El Toro, Class of 2001
College: University of Southern California
Age Group Team: Nellie Gail Gators
Current Team: Trojan Swim Club
Coaches: Renee and Vic Riggs, Nellie Gail Gators; Mark Schubert, Trojan Swim Club
Favorite TV Show: “The OC”
Favorite Movies: Comedies
Favorite Music: Hip-Hop
Favorite Food: Sushi
Favorite Dessert: Frozen Yogurt
Free-time Activities: Shopping and going to the beach
For 21-year-old Kaitlin Sandeno, life is good.
Fresh off the meet of her life at the Olympic Games, where her four swims yielded a tidy little royal flush of sorts, a gold, silver, bronze and fourth-place finish, she laid claim, during the eight-day competition, to being one of the most versatile female swimmers in the world.
For many years, Ukrainian Yana Klochkova has been the world’s most dominant female individual medley swimmer—the female equivalent of the USA’s Michael Phelps, only she’s been at the top longer.
Occasionally, Klochkova has lost a 200 meter IM race, though most often she wins the biggest races. But in the 400 meter IM, the sport’s most grueling test of versatility, strength, endurance and strategic thinking, she has been nearly invincible.
Double Olympic champion in Sydney, double gold medalist last July at the FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Klochkova was focused like a laser beam on repeating her twin triumphs in Athens. The world record holder in the longer medley and the de facto record holder at the sprint distance (China’s Wu Yanyan holds the official world record), she planned on putting up times that would stand for years to come.
Klochkova has also branched out to the distance freestyle at major events, winning silver in Sydney in the 800 meters (8:22.66) and gold in several major meets in the 400 meter free.
Just how dominant has Klochkova been? Since 1999, she has won: