Van Rouwendaal: “A good last test before Rio”
Hoorn (LEN) – With Sharon van Rouwendaal and Ferry Weertman in the line-up, the home team of the Netherlands have two “hot” candidates for medals at the European Open Water Swimming Championships in the city of Hoorn, beginning on Saturday.
Both have been qualified for the Olympics, starting in four weeks in Rio de Janeiro. “It is a very good chance to swim against many other Olympic participants and see where I’m standing in my preparation and where they are standing in theirs”, Sharon van Rouwendaal said at the opening press conference of the championships. “We have a lot of strong competitors and challengers here”, the title-holder from Berlin 2014 added.
Ferry Weertman also grabbed the 10km gold in Berlin. “We will have similar conditions here in Hoorn like in Rio, especially for the water temperature and we also expect waves”, he presented a kind of forecast for his main event due on Sunday. Together with Marcel Schouten, the two classy Dutch also won team event two years ago. “We will concentrate on the Olympics, so we will not compete in this event”, Weertman explained why the Netherlands would field a new young team.
“With the 5, 10 and 25 km, I have a very tough programme in the coming days”, stated Marcel Schouten, who set his eyes on a medal especially in the 25 km. The local hero also hinted that he trained very often in Hoorn.
“Yes, he will have a pretty tough challenge”, said the Dutch head coach and former world-class swimmer Marcel Wouda. “We have a mix of two Olympic swimmers who have their last test event and others like Marcel Schouten. For them, the Europeans are the highlights of the season”, he added. Marcel Wouda also draw the attention on the water temperature in Hoorn. “As it is similar to Rio, it will be good test, for sure.”
Joe Caruana Curran : “Perfect organisation by the KNZB”
Hoorn (LEN) – The city of Hoorn is ready to host the European Open Water Championships. “We will enjoy a perfect organization, thanks to the Royal Dutch Swimming Federation” said Joe Caruana Curran, LEN Bureau Member and Liaison for Open Water Swimming, at the opening press conference of the championships. “It shows us again, how important the KNZB for LEN and how big the Aquatic Sports are in Europe”, he added.
Jean-Paul Narce, chairman of the LEN Technical Open Water Committee, underlined the strength of Europe in open water swimming. “In Rio, eleven of the 25 men and 13 of 25 the women are from Europe among the qualified athletes”, he said.
“We are pleased to organise the championships and very proud that so many good competitors have entered the meet”, Paul van de Heuvel, the chairman of LOC said.