Dutch swimmers begin Olympic preparations in Leeds
Published on: 7th September 2011
A team of swimmers likely to be representing the Netherlands at the London 2012 Olympic Games including a reigning Olympic and world champion will be training in Leeds next week.
As part of the agreement signed by the city with the Royal Dutch Swimming Federation in 2009, a squad of swimmers will be in Leeds to familiarise themselves with the city and their training base at the Aquatics Centre at the John Charles Centre for Sport.
The squad coming to Leeds contains 13 swimmers including Ranomi Kromowidjojo who was part of the gold medal-winning Olympic Women’s 4x100 metre Freestyle Relay team in Beijing in 2008 as well as the team who claimed gold in the same discipline at the recent FINA World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai.
Kromowidjojo also enjoyed success in the individual events in Shanghai, winning a silver medal in the Women’s 50m Freestyle and a bronze in the Women’s 100m Freestyle events. Another notable member of the squad training in Leeds this week is Sharon van Rouwendaal, who took bronze in the Women’s 200m Backstroke in Shanghai where the Dutch team claimed six medals to finished ninth in the medal table, three places behind Team Great Britain.
Aside from daily training and gym sessions at the John Charles Centre for Sport, the squad will also have some free time to visit Leeds city centre before they leave on Saturday 10 September to head to London for a tour of the Olympic Park where they will be competing at the Games.
Their next visit to Leeds will be next summer, when they return in the weeks leading up to the London 2012 Olympic Games to complete their pre-Games training preparations.
Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:
“We are excited to welcome our guests from Holland to our great city and hope they have an enjoyable and beneficial time in Leeds this week.
“Even though they are only visiting for a few days we hope they get a flavour of the city and a warm Yorkshire welcome from everyone they meet.
“Following on from our fantastic recent announcement about also hosting the China team we look forward to seeing more world-class athletes coming to Leeds in the months ahead.”
As well as the Dutch swimmers, Leeds will also be hosting athletes from the USA, Serbia and Canada ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, while earlier this month Leeds was also announced as the official European pre-Games training base for the China Olympic squad. Discussions are continuing with a number of other countries.
For more information on Leeds and its work towards the London 2012 Games, visit www.leedsgold.co.uk