Dutch Women Looking for Strong Performance Next Week

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LONDON, England, July 25. MEMBERS of the Dutch contingent, along with their coach Jacco Verhaeren talked with the media at the London Aquatic Center this afternoon. Here's what they had to say:

Ranomi KROMOWIDJOJO (NED)

On the races between Inge DE BRUIJN (NED) and Therese ALSHAMMAR (SWE):
“Of course, I remember those races. Inge was an idol for me and I'm looking forward to racing Therese and also against Sarah (SJOSTROM (SWE)). It going to be a tough meeting but there'll also be some fun races.”

On how she feels about her Swedish competitors:
“I don't feel any fear but I feel they are great swimmers. I expect great swims from them.”

On her meningitis episode in 2010 and how that has affected her preparation:
“It made me a stronger person. In 2010, I was seven weeks out of the pool and went easy after coming back. Within three months I was at the same level as before and even better. I thought it was not a big issue to go to the Olympics and swim fast.”

On whether she hopes to break any world records:
“I expect good races. Of course I want to swim PBs (personal bests) but I am not focusing on times.”

On whether she feels under pressure:
“I do not feel under that much pressure because the most pressure I put on myself. I want to achieve something big.”

On why she is so much faster this year:
“For me it does not feel that much faster. It does not feel that I have taken a big step and that much has changed. I feel definitely a lot better than last year in Shanghai (at the 2011 world championships) but nothing has really changed.”

Marleen VELDHUIS (NED)

On whether it feels different coming into London 2012 compared with Beijing 2008:
“It feels different and also the same as we are the same persons (who won gold in the 4x100m freestyle at Beijing). We've evolved in the last four years and also won a lot of races. We're confident but we know the Australians and the Americans are very strong as well.”

Inge DEKKER (NED)

On whether any world records will be broken at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the pool:
“I think there will be a few world records broken. James MAGNUSSEN (AUS) is trying to go for the 100m freestyle. The 200m individual medley and the 400m individual medley for the guys (could be broken). For the women, I don't know actually but I am sure some world records will be broken. You just have to see what will happen. Of course we could like to break it (the 4x100m freestyle world record). We just want to qualify for the final and if we touch first (in the final) in a world record, that would be great.”

Jacco VERHAEREN (NED) — coach

On KROMOWIDJOJO's recovery from meningitis:
“We did not know what to expect. There can be problems afterwards like dizziness and headaches, loss of concentration. We started really easy, one step at a time and it paid off way sooner than we expected because the world short course championships and the world championships were great for Rani.”

On why KROMOWIDJOJO (NED) is so much faster this year:
“She is definitely in much better shape than Shanghai. Her skills have improved, a lot of starts, turns and underwater. In all things and also physically she has made good steps forward.”

On the atmosphere at London 2012:
“The atmosphere in the village is very relaxed. The best since Sydney. It's very professional but relaxed. Here you feel what the Olympics is about. We missed that in Beijing a little bit, I think.”

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