The Dutch squad at the World Cup swimming championships in Melbourne have great hope of bringing home four medals from the event, coach Jacco Verhaeren told reporters on Thursday evening. ‘Four medals and it will have been a successful championships,’ he said.
‘Everything on top of that is a bonus’.
Pieter van den Hoogenband, Marleen Veldhuis and Inge Dekker are all candidates to make the medals table, he said. Veldhuis is ranked top in the 50 metres freestyle and Dekker in the 50 metres butterfly ‘so they should be able to win,’ Verhaeren said.
Veldhuis is also tipped for a top placing in the 100 metres freestyle by Australian commentators who say she is in ‘top form’. And the women’s 4×100 metre freestyle is also a potential medal for the Dutch team, Verhaeren added.
Van den Hoogenband, world record holder and twice Olympic champion in the 100 metres freestyle, is currently ranked number two in the world for the 200 metres, which is where some see his best medal chances.
‘I feel fit and relaxed,’ Van den Hoogenband, 29, told reporters on his arrival from training camp. ‘Swimming,’ he said, ‘had become a business. You used to have a laugh before a race, but the new generation is different. It’s now much less frivolous.’
The event kicks off on March 26.
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