At the 2013 World Aquatic Championships in Barcelona the Danish team had great success winning a gold and three silvers along with Rikke Moeller Petersen setting a new world record in the women’s 200 breaststroke.
There was a missing component to the team, a male swimmer.
Having a desire to change their fortunes in the men’s events the Danish Swimming Federation has created the Great Danes initiative that will launch later this year, “I expect this to be an exciting new adventure for the Danish men who have lived in the shadows of our women’s team in recent years,” said Nick Juba, Denmark’s National Team Coach.
“It is a new focus and offers our best male swimmers the opportunity to step-up on the international stage. The Great Danes label needs to be synonymous with fast swimming!”
This initiative is designed to develop a men’s team that will be successful in Rio at the 2016 Olympic Games by combining intense internal training with a number of short international meets to challenge and ‘toughen’ the Danish men.
It is not only at the world championships that the Danish men did not experience success, but at the 2012 Olympics in London the small team that had only three swimmers compete in individual events had a top placing of 10th.
Initially there will be about 10 Great Danes selected including Daniel Steen Anderson the winner of the European Junior Championships 100m fly title, and Viktor Bromer who recently broke the country’s 200m fly record. Other swimmers will be added to the group when it is felt they they are ready but the Danish male swimmers currently training in the United States will remain outside of the squad for logistical reasons.