Dutch sprinter Hinkelien Schreuder has been removed from the Dutch World Championship rosters at the 11th hour today, after a flap with the Dutch National Team coach Jacco Verhaeren, who said he was unhappy with her training. Schreuder was slated to swim as a relay alternate in the 400 free relay. Schreuder, who is the 6th-fastest swimmer from the Netherlands and 69th-best in the world this year in the 100 free at 55.63. She also sits 12th in the world in the 50 free (24.88).
Schreuder announced both on her personal blog and on her Twitter account today that she had been pulled from the 400 free relay that is the favorite to win gold in Shanghai this summer. Schreuder was a key prelims swimmer on both the 2008 Olympic and 2009 World Championship squads and allowed the Netherlands to comfortably move through the prelims and into the finals before winning titles.
Schreuder concluded her blog by saying that she’s not sure if she will return to competitive swimming after this blow, and is considering retirement.
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While it’s the prerogative of a National Team coach to go against the times, especially in swims as tight as the 100 free, here’s where the real controversy will pop up: Schreuder has been replaced by 20-year old Ilse Kraaijeveld, is a personal charge of Verhaeren, the coach who removed Schreuder from the relay. Though Kraaijeveld is certainly a future member of this relay (she’s at a 55.78 this year), this opens up all kind of accusations that Verhaeren is using his position as National Team Director to further the interests of his personal club by promoting his own athletes. Avoiding this conflicts of interest, or at least perceived conflicts of interest, is one of the reasons why the USA Swimming National Team Director is expected to resign the position at their personal club.
The versatlie 27-year old is the current World Record holder in the 100 short course IM (a distance not contested at long course meets) and is a part of the European Record holding relays in both the short course 200 free and short course 200 medley relays.