The Dutch Swimming Federation (KNZB) has extended all of its National Team head coaches by one year to push their contracts through the Tokyo Olympic Games, which have been postponed until the summer of 2021. That includes Marcel Wouda and Mark Faber, the head coaches of the Dutch National Training Centers.
All coaches extended:
- Arno Havenga – Women’s water polo
- Harry van der Meer – Men’s water polo
- Marcel Wouda – National Training Center, Eindhoven
- Mark Faber – National Training Center, Amsterdam
- Edwin Jongejans – Diving
- Esther Jauma – Synchronized Swimming
- Sander Nijhuis – Para Swimming
“We have all expressed our intention to work together until Tokyo, so now that will be in 2021,” says the CEO of KNZB Andre Cats.
In late March, the IOC announced that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were being rescheduled to July 23rd-August 8th, 2021 – a year after originally planned – due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
The Dutch have already named 2 divers to their Olympic team, Inge Jansen and Celine van Duijne. Twin sisters Noortje and Bregje de Brouwer are the country’s best hopes for synchronized swimming qualifying, while a number of swimmers have already hit selection standards. Both Dutch water polo teams are dependent on the final Olympic qualification tournaments, which have been postponed, to book their spots in Tokyo.
In pool swimming specifically, Wouda and Faber were both hired to lead National Training Centers after the 2016 Olympics. That came after the Dutch swept the open water gold medals in Rio, but won no other medals in pool swimming.
The Eindhoven National Training Center includes sprinter Ranomi Kromowidjojo, who is a 3-time Olympic medalist and scored silver in the 50 fly at the 2019 World Championships. The Amsterdam center includes Arno Kamminga and Kira Toussaint, both of whom had breakout years in 2019 that included breaking multiple national records throughout the season.
Other federations have not yet announced the fate of their national team coaches, many of whom have contracts that were tied to the original dates of the 2020 Olympic Games. That includes Swimming Australia, whose Dutch head coach Jacco Verhaeren says that no decision has been made about extending his time with the program. Verhaeren previously said that he was leaving Australia after the Olympics.
The Netherlands has reopened swimming to all of its membership, including youth and elite swimmers, as of Wednesday, with restrictions enforcing social distancing and proper hygiene at sporting facilities.