After spending approximately the last 18 months in France training under coach Phillipe Lucas, Dutch Olympian Femke Heemskerk is making a return to Eindhoven. Heemskerk announced she will rejoin former coach Marcel Wouda, now the Head Coach at the NTC.
Heemskerk and Wouda had worked together previously through the 2015 World Championships in Kazan after which Heemskerk departed, citing that fact that Wouda’s also acting as the head coach of the Netherlands’ open water swimmers meant he couldn’t dedicate all of his time to training Heemskerk. In Rio de Janeiro, Wouda was the head coach of the Netherlands‘ open water swim squad, which brought home two gold medals for Ferry Weertman and Sharon Van Rouwendaal.
However, Heemskerk has now decided to join forces with Wouda once again, aiming for this year’s World Championships in Budapest, while still weighing whether or not she will go for the next Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.
Training with the Dutch squad during a 3-week camp in Malaga, Spain, Heemskerk says (Google Translate), “I’ve reflected on who I want to continue my career with and I’m looking forward to our collaboration. I’m confident we’ll get the most out of it.”
Heemskerk is a 2008 Olympic gold medalist as part of the Dutch 4×100 free relay, a relay that is still among the world’s best 7 years later. She won silver with that relay at the 2012 Olympics, and took silver in the event at the 2015 World Championships. While competing in Rio, Heemskerk was shut out of the finals of both the 100m and 200m free individual events, finishing 20th after heats and 16th after prelims of each, respectively. She was also a member of the Dutch 4x100m freestyle relay, which wound up 4th.