After scoring his fastest times this season in the 50m and 100m breaststroke events at Singaporean Nationals this month, American record holder Kevin Cordes is proving his move to train under Singapore’s head coach Sergio Lopez was most likely the right one.
Earlier this month, Cordes relocated to Singapore and became the first foreigner to be accepted under the Singapore Swimming Association’s (SSA) Foreign Athlete Sparring Program, which is the platform from which the SSA hopes to “impart to local national swimmers the importance of high training standards and collaboration.” (Yahoo Singapore)
After getting in touch with Lopez through a mutual friend and engaging in several conversations, Cordes came away feeling upbeat, saying, “I feel confident that it works both ways – that he believes in me and I believe in him and we can make this partnership work.”
Since landing in Singapore, Cordes etched his name on the 2015 world rankings lists, clocking a 27.54 in the Singaporean Nationals to be positioned as the 15th-fastest 50m breaststroker in the world. His time of 1:00.27 in the 100m breaststroke race performed at the same meet ties Cordes as the 14th-fastest in the world.
Cordes told Yahoo Singapore, “I’ve swum my best two in-season times. Everything’s been going smoothly and I think the progression is where it’s supposed to be.”
“You cannot teach those moments”, says Lopez of the benefit he can already see Cordes’ presence having on junior Singaporean swimmers, as he spies the youngsters trying to imitate Cordes’ strokes during their own training.
The coach who led Singapore to a record 23 gold medal haul at the 2015 Southeastern Asian (SEA) Games says, “We don’t want to use Kevin just to make our kids better… if he really wins three gold medals at the Olympics, Singapore is going to be at a totally different level in the eyes of people.”
Thus, eyes near and far will be on Cordes as he takes on the international field in the 50m and 200m breaststroke races in Kazan.