Swimming siblings stage gold rush at games as dutch get set to jam with longform legend in pool

By Su

Swimming siblings stage gold rush at games as dutch get set to jam with longform legend in pool

For Immediate Release

15 January, 2014

PHUKET, THAILAND– Thailand’s solid gold siblings Tanakrit and Patrawadee Kittaya made the waters boil at the 42nd Thailand National Games this week, with four gold medals between them following intensive tune-up and taper sessions at Thanyapura Phuket.

The gold rush began with Patrawadee, or ‘Ploy’, 19, double gold medallist at last month’s SEA Games in Myanmar (4x100m Freestyle Relay, 200m Butterfly), cruising to gold in the 100m and 200m Butterfly events in new meet records after placing third in the 200m Backstroke final.

It ended in spectacular style on Thursday, with her 17-year-old brother, Tanakrit ‘Nok’ landing a one-two punch to grab gold in the gruelling 400m Freestyle and 200m Butterfly events with just a 15 minute break between races. Nok finished the games with a triple double, adding silver in the 4×100 Free Relay, and the 1500 Free and bronze in the 4×100 Medley Relay and the 4×200 Free Relay to his two gold medals.

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Precious medals: Two gold medals apiece were the highlights of the 42nd Thailand National Games in Suphanburi for Tanakrit ‘Nok’ Kittaya, 17, (left) and his sister Patrawadee ‘Ploy’ Kittaya, 19. For high resolution image clickhere.

The pair, stars of the Thai national team, had been in residence at the Thanyapura Sports Hotel for intensive sessions then a warm down before the 42nd Thailand National Games in Suphanburi, which ended on the weekend.

Thanyapura’s new Executive Chairman and triathlon legend Chris McCormack congratulated both swimmers on their performance.”After Nok’s ordinary performance at the SEA Games, I don’t think there is anyone questioning his choice of training location now,” Mr McCormack said.

Thanyapura’s renowned three-dimensional coaching approach was making a difference, Mr McCormack said, with the Thai pair also doing dry-land training in the Thanyapura gym ‘Pura Performance Centre’ , and meditation and visualization work with Thanyapura Mind Centre supremo and Dalai Lama confidante Andrea Capellari.

“Coach Randy tells me Nok is swimming very close to his PBs (personal bests) and even managed to pick up a PB in the 100 Free this week,” he said. “He hit all his goals for the meet, and the Silver in the 1500 has him hungry to get training sooner than planned. He is also keen on seeing the Dutch team training, and so is looking at coming back to Thanyapura that last week of January.”

The Royal Dutch Swimming Federation’s full contingent of Olympic stars plunge into their second high performance sessions at Thanyapura this week, as Thanyapura farewells the Norwegian national team after a two-week winter training retreat.

The Dutch squad includes the world’s fastest woman in water, Ranomi Kromowidjojo and fellow freestyle sprint machine Marleen Veldhuis. From January 17th to 19th, they will be joined by Maarten van der Weijden, open water swimming’s longform colossus, Beijing gold medallist and holder of every world record from 10km to the open water 25km.

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Coach class: Thanyapura’s head swimming coach, Randy Simon, was delighted with the performance of his two charges at the Thailand National Games. For high resolution version, click here.

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Fast lane: The pool at Thanyapura Aquatics Academy where Nok and Ploy honed their strokes and tapered before the most important national meet. For high resolution version, click here.

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Van der Weijden is a hot ticket on the motivational speaking circuit, having battled back from leukaemia as a teenager to take the 10km gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He made headlines around the world when he declared he was ‘not Lance Armstrong’, a fellow sporting cancer survivor, crediting his doctors, chemotherapy and stem cell replacement, not positive thinking, for his recovery.

“Maarten van der Weijden is a tough guy and a great competitor and his presence will be inspiring for our Aquatics Academy,” Mr McCormack said, adding that US Masters multiple world record holder Karlyn Pipes and three times coach of Australia’s Olympic squad Scott Volkers were also sighted on the pool deck during the New Year period.

Mr McCormack said it had been a great sight to see the lanes pumping early in 2014 as the Norwegians went through their paces in the pool.”The Dutch are next, then we have the Hungarian national team’s first official training retreat, following a visit by some of their swimmers last year.It’s a revolving door of talent at all levels.”

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