Dutch Olympic-Qualifier Swim Cups Cancelled In Coronavirus Lockdown


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The Netherlands, home of the Olympic marathon champions Ferry Weertman and Sharon van Rouwendaal and 2012 double Olympic sprint champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo, has joined the list of nations abandoning Olympic trials.

Weertman and Van Rouwendaal had already qualified for the Tokyo 2o20 Olympic Games and the defence of their titles, however, the Swim Cups in The Hague and Eindhoven, the last chance for pool swimmers to earn Olympic selection, have been cancelled. The meets would have been the last Olympic qualification events for Dutch swimmers aiming for the Tokyo 2020 Games but are now the latest causalities of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and resulting containment measures.

The Dutch swimming community was informed late yesterday that Government measures to try to combat the spread of the virus included the closure of all pools and a ban on large gatherings, including sport competitions.

A source told Swimming World: “The meets are cancelled not postponed but this isn’t just a case of cancellation. Many swimmers cannot even go to the pool. Their training is over.”

The same picture can be found in Italy, Norway, Denmark and other parts of Europe, with trials and championships and cup events postponed or cancelled in Spain, Sweden and Belgium and decisions being taken that look set to see the European Championships, scheduled for May in Budapest to join the wipeout.

Budapest would have been another chance for Dutch swimmers to qualify for Tokyo 2020 but the more likely date is now the Dutch Championships scheduled for Rotterdam on June 19-21.

Australia, China, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Italy, France, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, Brazil and Japan have all had major meets affected by the coronavirus pandemic, while in the United States, the NCAA Championships have been cancelled and USA Swimming has imposed a 30-day suspension on all events, while Canada is considering what to do about its Olympic trials early next month. In Italy, where swimmers are struggling to maintain normal routines, can’t get to practice and in some cases find pool time, a #stopolympics campaign was launched by the Nuoto website calling on solidarity among swimming nations to recognise that Olympic preparations have been blown off course and that it would be in the interests of fairness to postpone the Games for a time of calm beyond the coronavirus crisis. 

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