Olympic 10km Champion Van Rouwendaal Moves To Magdeburg: Korstanje Back In Eindhoven

VAN ROUWENDAAL Sharon NED Gold Medal 5km Women Glasgow 08/08/2018 Open Water Swimming Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park LEN European Aquatics Championships 2018 European Championships 2018 Photo Andrea Staccioli /Deepbluemedia /Insidefoto
Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli/Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

Olympic open water champion Sharon van Rouwendaal is moving her base to Magdeburg, Germany, where she will train alongside world champion Florian Wellbrock under German national coach Bernd Berkhahn.

It brings to an end a seven-year association with Philippe Lucas at Montpellier, France, during which time she won eight European and five world medals – in both pool and open water – and the 10km title at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Also making a change is 2018 European relay silver medallist Nyls Korstanje who has returned to the Netherlands from North Carolina State University because of the ongoing uncertainties in the wake of the pandemic.

Van Rouwendaal’s collaboration with Lucas has come to an end and on 17 August she will start training under Berkhahn, who numbers Wellbrock – who won the 10km open water and 1500 free at the 2019 World Championships – among his charges.

sharon-van-rouwendaal-10k-open-water-gold-medalist-2016-rio-olympics

Photo Courtesy: Eric Seals-USA TODAY Sports

The switch, which comes a little under a year out from the rescheduled Olympics in Tokyo for which she has already qualified, has been something Van Rouwendaal has been considering for some time.

In a statement released by the Royal Dutch Swimming Federation (KNZB), she said:

“Over the past year, I began to have too many doubts and doubts about the collaboration with Philippe. I became Olympic champion under his leadership and I am very grateful to him, but I am ready for a change and something new.

“Last season I participated a number of training courses with the group of Bernd Berkhahn, who is also the German national coach, and that went very well.

“I have now made the decision and am very happy that I can start working in Bernd’s team. I can now prepare myself without worries and with full conviction for the successful Games in Tokyo next year.”

Director of Top Sport Andre Cats added:

“The coaches of the KNZB (Thijs Hagelstein and Marcel Wouda) have had intensive contact with Sharon in the last period and fully support her choice to go to Bernd Berkhahn’s German success program.

“The KNZB helps Sharon make training courses at altitude which are an important part of the training program.

“During the tournaments and matches, Sharon is supported by the Dutch coaching team. In that sense, little will change for Sharon and our coaches will build up an excellent collaboration with Sharon’s new coach.”

Van Rouwendaal also posted on social media, saying:

“After 7 years of working together with my coach Philippe Lucas I’ve decided I wanted a change of program. I want to learn new things. It has been a really hard decision because we worked so well together. I’m so thankful for the years I’ve had with Philippe and without him I wouldn’t be the swimmer I am today.

“Philippe, thank you for all the times you made me cry, smile and laugh. You gave me confidence by believing in me. You saw something that other people didn’t.

•• Olympic Games 🥇
•• World Championships 🥇🥈🥈🥈🥈🥈🥉
••European Championships 🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇🥈🥈🥈🥉🥉

🔝 Made by Philippe Lucas🔝

“That being said, I’m happy to announce that I’m going to start working with Bernd Berkhahn in Magdeburg. I’ve did some of his training sessions last season, they are different but still very hard. I’m excited for this new adventure and challenge! 🤗”

The 26-year-old also posted video of the moment she saw Lucas for the first time following her gold medal swim in Rio.

View this post on Instagram

⭐ Merci Philippe! ⭐ announcement: • After 7 years of working together with my coach Philippe Lucas I've decided I wanted a change of program. I want to learn new things. It has been a really hard decision because we worked so well together. I'm so thankful for the years I've had with Philippe and without him I wouldn't be the swimmer I am today. • Philippe, thank you for all the times you made me cry, smile and laugh. You gave me confidence by believing in me. You saw something that other people didn't. • •• Olympic Games 🥇 •• World Championships 🥇🥈🥈🥈🥈🥈🥉 ••European Championships 🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇🥈🥈🥈🥉🥉🥉 • 🔝 Made by Philippe Lucas🔝 • That being said, I'm happy to announce that I'm going to start working with Bernd Berkhahn in Magdeburg. I've did some of his training sessions last season, they are different but still very hard. I'm excited for this new adventure and challenge! 🤗 • • Ps: The first video above was from the moment I saw my coach for the first time after winning the Olympic gold and the second video was after the medal ceremony. It was a special moment. MERCI Philippe. ❤

A post shared by Sharon van Rouwendaal (@svrouwendaal) on

Korstanje swam the lead-off for the dutch 4x100m mixed freestyle relay in Glasgow, Scotland, three years ago where they finished behind winners France and ahead of Russia.

Now he will continue his preparations for the rescheduled Games at the High Performance Centre in Eindhoven after two years in the United States.

nyls-korstanje

Photo Courtesy: NC State Athletics

Korstanje said:

“Due to the corona situation in the USA, there are too many uncertainties surrounding the swimming program at my university.

“I have now decided to train fully in the Netherlands at least next season. I can continue to follow my educational program online.

“It is still unclear what exactly the sporting future will bring, but in Eindhoven I am sure that thanks to the top facilities, the guidance and the strong swimming team I can continue to develop well as a top swimmer. I am happy that the KNZB offers me this opportunity.”

Marcel Wouda, head coach of the high-performance centre in Eindhoven, added:

“Nyls was in a difficult situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We had a number of conversations about his options and highlighted everything from all sides.

“It is good that he has now decided with full conviction to join the program in Eindhoven 100% again.

“We have worked together before to great satisfaction and I look forward to doing that again in the coming period.”

 


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