Former local swim star named S'pore assistant coach

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) yesterday named Olympian Gary Tan as assistant coach to new national coach Sergio Lopez.

Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, the 32-year-old former South-east Asia (SEA) Games gold medallist said: "I'm looking forward to working with Sergio in this new challenge.

"Our immediate goal is obviously next year's SEA Games on home soil. Personally I hope we can do better than our previous best haul (17 golds in 2011), but our competitors are also improving, so we will try to improve on what we can control.

"We will have to discuss with the high-performance committee how to make the best of the SEA Games, and in the long run, we want to create a world-class team and bring them up to Olympic level." Tan will begin his tenure alongside Lopez on Jan 1, 2015.

He represented Singapore at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics and took part in the 100m and 200m backstroke and 200m individual medley heats.


He retired in 2007 and has had previous experiences as head coach for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games team and the 2008 World Youth Swimming Championships outfit.

Tan, who studied at Brigham Young University, was also part of the national coaching team for the 2014 Asian Games, 2009/2013 South-east Asian Games and the 2009/2012 World Swimming Championships.

"This is a great opportunity for me to learn from one of the best coaches in the world," said Tan.

"I am truly grateful for the trust that the Singapore Swimming Association has in me to allow me to immerse myself in a role which I see providing many future benefits, particularly in areas of high performance."

Prior to joining SSA, Tan was a senior coach with Swimfast Aquatic Club and a business director with Swim Lab.

He is an accredited NCAP level 2 coach and helped produce the likes of Olympian Quah Ting Wen and SEA Games medallists such as Quah Zheng Wen and Rainer Ng.

Tan added: "Having worked with many national swimmers at Swimfast means I will be familiar with them, and I hope this will give me a smooth transition to my new role."

SSA vice-president (swimming) Joscelin Yeo welcomed Tan's appointment, and said: "We are delighted to have Gary join the national

team set-up.

"He represents a new breed of swimming coaches and he has all the elements to help steer some of the best young swimmers in the country.

"Gary's professional swimming background certainly helps as he knows what it takes to make it to the top."

This is a great opportunity for me to learn from one of the best coaches in the world.

This article was first published on December 9, 2014.
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