Dutch Star Kirsten Vlieghuis Retires

By Oene Rusticus & Jos van Kuijeren

EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands, June 3. AFTER the final of the 200 freestyle at the Dutch Nationals today, Olympian Kirsten Vlieghuis announced her retirement.

She told our reporter: "Two months ago I decided to quit. I have gone through so many nice things, but now I can't motivate myself anymore to train hard and prepare for a big meet. When I wasn't selected for the commercial Philips-team and I would lose Jacco Verhaeren as a coach, I first felt I should quit swimming."

Now, after failing to qualify for Fukuoka, she called it a career.

Kirsten Vlieghuis was European Youth Champion in 1991 in the 400 and 800 freestyle and gathered two bronze medals at the Atlanta Games (1996). In that year she was the most successful Dutch swimmer. At the World Championships at Perth (1998) she also won a bronze medal at the 800.