Coach Bob Bowman on Yannick Agnel, Michael Phelps … and himself


Read AFP

Swimming coach Bob Bowman, who guided Michael Phelps to 18 gold, two silver and two bronze medals over four Olympic Games, is now working with France’s promising young champion Yannick Agnel.

Before an afternoon training session, and just back from the dentist’s chair, he fielded a few questions from AFP, punctuating his responses with an easy laugh.

AFP: Is Agnel the next Michael Phelps?

Bowman: No, he’s the first Yannick. He is really quite similar to Michael in some ways — his mental approach, his dedication to training, those sort of things. But he’s also quite different and I think he can stand on his own. He doesn’t need a comparison to someone else… In the big moments he tends to give his best performance, and that’s a hallmark of a great swimmer.

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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