Dutch couple see Olympics from one extreme to another

Thu May 19, 2016 1:29pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - The Rio Games will be both a sprint and a marathon for Dutch triple Olympic gold medalist Ranomi Kromowidjojo and her partner Ferry Weertman.

Kromowidjojo is the reigning champion in 50 and 100 meters freestyle, the fastest events on the women's swimming program, while Weertman took the men's 10km open water silver medal at last year's world championships.

Their preparations are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

"I never knew anything about open water swimming before one year ago and now I do," Kromowidjojo told reporters at the European championships on Thursday, a day after she took silver in the 100 meters freestyle in 53.24 seconds.

"It doesn’t happen a lot that he is out of the water earlier than I am.

"We are training in the same pool... so our life is almost the same. But for preparation it’s completely different," she said at an appearance for swim wear sponsor Arena.

The winning men's 10km time in 2012 was one hour and 49 minutes, while sprint queen Kromowidjojo won gold in the 50 meters -- a dash from one end of the pool to the other -- in an Olympic record of 24.05 seconds.

The difference between a medal and nothing in that event can be the blink of an eye.   Continued...

Second placed Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands poses with her medal after the women's 50m freestyle final at the Aquatics World Championships in Kazan, Russia, August 9, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth