2020 Swammy Awards: Mark Faber Is This Year’s European Coach of the Year

To see all of our 2020 Swammy Awards, click here.


This year’s Swammy for European Coach of the Year goes to the head coach of the Netherlands National Training Center, Amsterdam Mark Faber. Faber has been in the role since 2016 and has since coached the Dutch training squad to numerous international and national medals.

This year, Faber’s top performers came in the form of Kira Toussaint and Arno Kamminga. Toussaint raced this International Swimming League season for the London Roar, serving as an important backstroke asset. Over her first four meets this season, Toussaint picked up 3 victories in the 100 backstroke, one in the 50 back, and a number of top 3 finishes in the 200 back and relays.

At the first-ever ISL semi-final, Toussaint became the first swimmer this season to break a world record as she downed Etienne Medeiros’ short course 50 backstroke record. Toussaint won the event with a 25.60 to get under Medeiros’ mark of 25.67 from 2014. A few weeks later Toussaint exactly matched her new world record as she won the event at the 2020 Amsterdam Christmas Meet.

Toussaint ended the 2020 ISL season as London’s second-highest point scorer this year after Adam Peaty and #17 league-wide with a season total of 179.00.

Post-ISL, Toussaint delivered some solid long course swims, lowering the Dutch records in both the 50 and 100 backstroke. At the 2020 Rotterdam Qualification Meet in December 2020, she hit a 27.37 and 58.91, respectively for new NRs.

Also setting a number of Dutch records this year was Faber-trained breaststroker Arno Kamminga. Kamminga set national records on both ends of quarantine, hitting the 100 breast mark back in March with a 58.43 at the 2020 Diamond Speedo Race. Kamminga raced along with Toussaint at the Rotterdam Qualification Meet later in the year, lowering the long course Dutch records to 26.88 in the 50 breast and 2:06.85.

That 200 swim for Kamminga made him the 4th fastest in the event ever, behind only the current world record holder Anton Chupkov (2:06.12), Matt Wilson (2:06.67) Ippei Watanabe (2:06.67).

While he didn’t hit his own 50 or 100 marks in the short course, Kamminga lowered the Dutch record in the 200 breast with his 2:01.43 at the Amsterdam Christmas Meet.

Toussaint and Kamminga are among those from Faber’s training group who have qualified to swim at the Olympics next year. Also qualified from the team are Jesse Puts and Tes Schouten.

2021 Qualified Olympians & Event In Mark Faber‘s Training Group

Puts and Schouten each had successful years in their own right, each setting two Dutch records this year. Schouten set new marks in both the long course 100 and 200 breaststrokes at the Rotterdam Qualification meet. She lowered the marks in those events to a 1:06.92 and 2:26.95, respectively.

Puts on the other hand was a member of 2 different Dutch record-breaking relays this year. At the Amsterdam Christmas Meet in December, Puts played a part in downing both the 4×50 freestyle and 4×100 medley relays.


in no particular order

  • Dirk Lange – Former world record holder Marco Koch joined up with Dirk Lange a couple of months out of what was meant to be the 2020 Olympics. When the Games were canceled, however, the focus for Koch shifted to the 2020 ISL season. Together with Lange, Koch made it out of quarantine ready to race and had a solid ISL season, picking up 4 straight 200 breast wins and a second-place finish at semis. He also was an asset for the New York Breakers in the 50 and 100 breaststrokes, as well as the relays. He ended the season with a total of 125.50 points for 46th place overall. Lange continues to work Koch as we enter the 2021 Olympic year.
  • Fabrizio Antonelli – In May of 2020, Gregorio Paltrinieri made the decision to begin swimming under Fabrizio Antonelli in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympics to be held in 2021. The decision almost immediately paid off as Paltrinieri swam a world-leading 1500 freestyle at the post-quarantine Sette Colli in August. Paltrinieri hit an incredible 14:33.10 European record, just 2 seconds off Sun Yang’s world record of 14:31.02.


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Denise Veldhuisen
2 years ago

it is de coach who take’s a risk with his swimmers in covid time, its a blam that somebody choose him.

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
2 years ago

Is Kamminga qualified for the Olympics in the 200 breast?