2023 WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- July 23 to 30, 2023
- Fukuoka, Japan
- Marine Messe Fukuoka
- LCM (50m)
- WORLD CHAMPS WATCH PARTY – DAILY
- Meet Central
- SwimSwam Preview Index
- Entry Book
- Live Results (Omega)
- Day 1 Prelims Live Recap | Day 1 Finals Live Recap
- Day 2 Prelims Live Recap | Day 2 Finals Live Recap
- Day 3 Prelims Live Recap | Day 3 Finals Live Recap
- Day 4 Prelims Live Recap | Day 4 Finals Live Recap
- Day 5 Prelims Live Recap | Day 5 Finals Live Recap
- Day 6 Prelims Live Recap | Day 6 Finals Live Recap
- Day 7 Prelims Live Recap | Day 7 Finals Live Recap
- Day 8 Prelims Live Recap| Day 8 Finals Live Recap
As the 2023 World Championships wrapped up on Sunday in Fukuoka, Japan, Team USA head coach Bob Bowman discussed how he balances his time between national duties and his international swimmers from Arizona State.
The Americans brought home 38 total medals this year, but their seven golds represented their lowest total in at least two decades. Their five individual golds only barely outnumbered the combined total from France’s Leon Marchand (200 IM, 400 IM, 200 butterfly) and Hungary’s Hubert Kos (200 backstroke), who both compete for Bowman at ASU.
Bowman estimated that maybe “97.5%” of his time has been spent focused on Team USA this meet.
“Right now, it’s almost 100 percent USA,” Bowman said. “By the time we get to this meet, the internationals have done their training. I don’t really spend that much time on them. They know what to do.”
Bowman said his position isn’t uncommon in swimming. The 58-year-old former coach of Michael Phelps doesn’t see any ethical issues with helping international swimmers so long as it doesn’t take time away from his national team responsibilities.
“There’s a global community in swimming,” Bowman said. “Almost every one of the coaches on this deck is involved with more than one country’s swimmers.
“It’s ethically okay to me,” he continued. “Bottom line is, I get paid to coach these guys at ASU. I’m representing my country for the love of my country. I’m happy to do that and I have some skills to do that, but I don’t think there’s any ethical question. Everybody gets support. It’s not zero-sum about taking away from the US guys. It’s really not.
“My concern when I’m here is that I’m, No. 1, taking care of every USA responsibility that I have,” Bowman added. “Making our relays as good as they can possibly be. Making sure these athletes are supported to the full extent. Then, outside of that, I can certainly keep an eye on Leon and see what’s going on. It’s not like he needs that much attention from me. I’m not taking time away from the U.S. guys to say ‘nice job, Leon. Make your breaststroke better.’”
Overall, Bowman was happy with Team USA’s performance the past week, though he was hoping for more gold medals.
“By and large, the racing has been good compared to their individual standards,” Bowman said. “Obviously, we’d like to win more gold medals. I think there are a number of reasons for that – both bigger picture-wise and small ones. But overall, I’m pleased with how we raced.
“If you look back, historically, at our World Championships just prior to an Olympics, we’ve had similar results, and we’ve bounced back to have some of our more successful Olympics,” he added.
Moving forward, Bowman said he has a better idea of how to taper versatile 21-year-old Regan Smith, who joined ASU’s pro group last year from Stanford. He rested her for eight days when she only really needs about two.
“We clearly want better times. I hadn’t ever tapered her before,” Bowman said of Smith, mentioning how he couldn’t fully correct her taper between Trials and Worlds. “I just rested her too much. I’ve learned now that she tapers in about two days, not eight days. But she’s had a great attitude. And I saw an amazing stat. She’s one of only four American women (along with Katie Ledecky, Shirley Babashoff, and Tracy Caulkins) to win four individual medals (at Worlds). That’s a pretty impressive group she’s with.”