An investigation into the possible inappropriate behavior of former national coach Marc Faber has caused turmoil in the Dutch swimming world. Senior players Arnaud Kamminga and Ties Schouten are clear: they fully support their coach.
Kamminga pauses for a few seconds at the edge of the Rie Mastenbroek Basin. “I’m just thinking about what I want to say about this,” the two-time Olympic silver medalist said last Friday, on the second day of the Rotterdam qualifying meet.
The question for Kammenga concerns Faber, the man who was his coach for seven years. De Volkskrant It was reported last month that several swimmers had filed a complaint against the then national coach from January 2022 to May 2023, including for bullying and intimidating behaviour.
No one in the Dutch swimming world wants to talk extensively about Faber and the accusations against him, because the investigation is still ongoing. Faber himself announced in Rotterdam that he did not want to give interviews.
Kammenga responds after finishing second in the 200 breaststroke. “First of all: I support Mark 100%. Mark supports me 100%,” says 28-year-old Katweker in a conversation with NU.nl. “This applies not only to me, but to the four swimmers we are training with now in Amsterdam. We are doing a great job together and having a lot of fun together.”
Schouten – who along with Kammenga, Kaspar Corbu and Kenzo Simons makes up Amsterdam’s best sporting group – uses almost the same words. “I fully support Mark,” says the 200 breaststroke bronze medalist at last summer’s world championships. “I am happy with our relationship and trust him completely.”
Is the collective spirit of swimmers under pressure?
At this time, the investigation into Faber has no consequences for him or his swimmers. The coach is simply part of the technical staff for the short-course European Championship, which is held from Tuesday to Sunday in the Romanian capital, Bucharest.
However, it is clear that things are not calm among Dutch swimmers eight months before the Paris Olympics. In the article by De Volkskrant It was also reported that there would be friction between the two major sports centers in Eindhoven and Amsterdam, although the KNZB swimming federation denies this.
Nils Korstanje in Rotterdam stresses that it is important that all swimmers continue to work well together, even if only for relay numbers. “There is some drama now and that is of course difficult,” says the butterfly specialist, who will train fully in Eindhoven from this week after a long spell in the United States. “I made it clear to the national coach (Seuurs Lemertz, editor) that it is important that we try to maintain the team feeling.”
The 24-year-old Korstanje has been in occasional contact with his Amsterdam teammates in recent weeks. “I’m just trying to remain friendly. They are of course going through a lot now, because it has to do with their coach. Anyway, I don’t want us to look at each other in a different way because of this issue.”
Both Kammenga and Schouten say the investigation into Faber has had no impact on their swimming performance. “Fortunately, nothing has changed for me in my daily practice,” Kammenga says. “Maybe just because the group in Amsterdam brought us together more.”
Selectie EK kortebaan
Vrouwen: Tes Schouten, Kira Toussaint, Valerie van Roon, Silke Holkenborg, Tessa Giele, Lotte Hosper en Anna van Droffelaar.
Mannen: Arno Kamminga, Caspar Corbeau, Thom de Boer, Kenzo Simons, Jesse Puts, Thomas Jansen, Sean Niewold, Bram Zwetsloot, Lucas Peters, Koen de Groot, Luca Janssen, Ivo Kroes en Brandon van den Berg.
De topzwemmers uit Eindhoven (zoals Marrit Steenbergen) slaan het kortebaantoernooi in Boekarest (5-10 december) over.
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