Schubert, Hansen, Phelps Check in With Media Prior to Pan Pacs

PHOENIX, Ariz., Aug. 10. MARK Schubert, Brendan Hansen and Michael Phelps took time out of their busy schedules to talk with the media prior to Pan Pacifics next week. SwimmingWorldMagazine.com jotted down some comments from each for our readers:

Mark Schubert
Opening Statement:
“We are very excited about the results from nationals. Not just the performance on the top end, but the depth as well. It has been a fun training camp for us. We have a number of experienced athletes that can mentor the athletes that haven’t had a lot of international experience. We can look to some great performances by the Americans.”

Thoughts on the Chinese swimming team:
“We got a look at some of the Chinese swimmers at the Janet Evans Invitational in Los Angeles in mid-July. It is going to be a mixed team with some experience and new faces. I don’t think they are bringing a large team to Pan Pacs. Two years out, the host team has an advantage with enthusiasm. It will be interesting to see how they compete in Victoria.”

On rumors of Dara Torres and Lenny Krayzelburg returning to competition:
“I heard the same rumor about Dara Torres. I know for a fact that Lenny Krayzelburg is training. We don’t call them comebacks and retirements anymore. We see too many returns. We are pleased that Lenny is returning and compete in the Trials. I hope Dara does too. It would be history making.”

On Gary Hall Jr. making the team:
“We are excited to see Gary’s persistence in training. He is excited about swimming the 100 free. He is a great relay swimmer. The men’s team’s excitement about having Gary on the squad was shown when they elected him captain.”

Michael Phelps
Opening Statement:
“Nationals was definitely one of my best performances since Athens. Things are headed in the right direction. The training camp has gotten us excited to go to Pan Pacs. Hopefully, we can get an excited team heading into Worlds next year.”

Thoughts on the Chinese swimming team:
“The world has been getting faster and faster. The host country usually performs really well. I look for them to start swimming faster and to make things exciting over the next two years.”

On the importance of Pan Pacs:
“For this year, this is our biggest international meet. It is a time for me to swim some best times and go out and race. We need to see where we are in training. That is my plan for every meet I go to. I want to go a best time every time I am in the water. The big goal is in two years in Beijing, but these are stepping stones to help us in training.”

On recent positive drug tests around the sporting world:
“It is weird with sports nowadays. It is disappointing that some people work so hard and some people cheat to do things. It is very sad that some sports and some athletes have come to that. It is their decision to do that. I think swimming has been a great sport and something we have had a lot of success with. We have proved that we are clean.”

On the 200-meter backstroke race against Aaron Peirsol:
“The 200 back is an event that I sort of swim every now and then I will mix it in. Aaron has been unbeatable since right after Sydney. He is the guy everyone wants to race. I am just looking to get into the water and race him. We have gone at it a couple of times, and he has won every single time. We are part of Team USA. We would like to be top of the world into that event leading into the World Championships. My event program depends on this year for what will help me prepare for the Olympics. This summer is the last test for what would be a good event for me to swim.”

On Cullen Jones:
“He had a big year as far as NCAAs. He has a great future ahead of him. Hopefully, he can help some of our guys bring our sprint freestyle back and our 400-freestyle back.”

Brendan Hansen
Opening Statement:
“I don’t think that I really did that great at USA Nationals. Breaking the world records was nice, but I wanted to break them by a lot. There is more in the tank. I worked on the little things during the training camp. Hopefully, I can go some best times at Pan Pacs.”

On the importance of Pan Pacs:
“The competition is going to be a lot stronger at Pan Pacs. The Japanese put up some competition at international events. When you are breaking world records, there is a big target on your chest. I am aware of that going into next week.”

Thoughts on the Chinese swimming team:
“When you are looking at their team, they are continuing to raise the bar in their country. In 2004, they were competing with us. They are gearing up for hosting in two years. We should expect good things from them at Pan Pacs.”

On recent positive drug tests around the sporting world:
“I think they should be banned from USA Swimming if they are found with a banned substance. There should be a no-tolerance rule. That would bring fear into it. I would be floored if I saw a swimmer from the U.S. test positive. As a team, we take pride in the fact that we get drug tested as much as we do. I would be extremely surprised if I was to see a positive drug test from this team.”

On Cullen Jones:
“He showed us what he is capable of. The final in the 50 and 100 in comparison to Olympic Trials was a loaded heat. Cullen is a newbie to all of that, and he came out a shining star. He did an amazing job of staying calm in that situation. We have a lot to look forward to in his career.”

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