“Winning the gold three consecutive times will be a mission impossible”
Ronald Gaastra, ex-trainer of Belgian gold medalist Frederik Deburghgraeve (Atlanta) and ex-mentor of Jacco Verhaeren, is not so sure Pieter van den Hoogenband will win the gold for the third time at the next Olympics. The champion wants to defend his 100m free style title at the Olympics in Beijing in 2008 before he ends his swimming career. “It will be a tough thing to do, no-one has ever done it before.''
Gaastra thinks chances are decreasing every day that Van den Hoogenband will break his own world record (47.84 seconds). “He should be able to reach 47.50, strictly from a physical point of view. But that’s not the only determining factor. Pieter has been at the top of his game for the past five years. Look at Aleksandr Popov, he is a swim legend too. In 1992 and 1996 he was the top dog, but in 2000 he was struggling to keep up. Pieter may succeed if he won’t suffer any injuries.''
Also read other background articles related to Pieter van den Hoogenband:
- “You can work on mentality”
- Tom Dolan analyses Van den Hoogenband
- Finding new sponsors
- A trainer can also peak