Swimming: New national coach Lopez wants to make Singapore one of world's best

Mr Oon Jin Teik with Sergio Lopez as the new Head Coach of Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) during the press conference. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Mr Oon Jin Teik with Sergio Lopez as the new Head Coach of Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) during the press conference. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Sergio Lopez as the new Head Coach of Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) at the OCBC Aquatic Centre on Nov 21, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Sergio Lopez as the new Head Coach of Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) at the OCBC Aquatic Centre on Nov 21, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Sergio Lopez as the new Head Coach of Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) at the OCBC Aquatic Centre on Nov 21, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Sergio Lopez as the new Head Coach of Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) at the OCBC Aquatic Centre on Nov 21, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

New Singapore swimming head coach Sergio Lopez signalled his intention to make Singapore one of the world's top swimming countries in his first meeting with the press on Friday afternoon.

Speaking at the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) headquarters at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, Lopez, who coached Singapore swimmer Joseph Schooling at the Bolles School in Florida for five years, said: "From the first phone call, I was sold... I've always wanted to be head coach of a small country, build a team and make them one of the best countries in the world.

"I don't have a magic wand, it will take time, but we have everything in place to be successful."

Also at the press conference was SSA secretary general Oon Jin Teik, vice-president (swimming) Joscelin Yeo, and Singapore Sports Institute (SSI) chief Bob Gambardella. Besides coaching the national swim team, Lopez will also be adviser coach at the Singapore Sports Institute's coaching academy, where he will help develop elite-level coaches.