THANYAPURA, Thailand, January 31. THE Dutch national team is spending three weeks in the tropics of Thailand preparing for this summer's world championships, and SwimmingWorld.TV is pleased to present this video interview with national head coach Jacco Verhaeren.
Verhaeren talks about the effects of transplanting the team from the chilly winter of the Netherlands to the warm climate of Thailand in January, and how it is helping the team get through some tough training. Some of the country's top swimmers are in attendance, including 2012 double gold medalist Ranomi Kromowidjojo.
Verhaeren also mentions that Olympic legend Pieter van den Hoogenband is in Thailand with the national team, but Swimming World has confirmed that van den Hoogenband, the owner of seven Olympic medals, is not coming out of retirement. His appearance in Thanyapura is strictly in a mentorship capacity.
The Dutch women's team, led by Kromowidjojo, will be looking to repeat as world champions in the 400 free relay this summer. Kromowidjojo, named the female European swimmer of 2012 by Swimming World Magazine, will be the heavy favorite in the sprint freestyles. On the men's side, Sebastiaan Verschuren will likely be their top swimmer, having placed fifth in the 100 free at the London Olympics.
Verhaeren is the personal coach of many of the current top Dutch swimmers, and was the guiding hand behind van den Hoogenband's success at the Olympics, as well as the legendary Inge de Bruijn.
Thailand will be serving as the team's international training camp through the 2016 Olympics, Verharen announces in this interview, though the team will use other facilities in Europe later this year in preparation for this summer's world championships.
Special thanks to Matthew Booth for providing the interview.