Tokyo Olympics 2020: Jacco Verhaeren quits as coach of Australia's swim team after Olympic delay; Rohan Taylor takes charge
Jacco Verhaeren is standing down as head coach of Australia’s swim team, leaving Rohan Taylor to guide the Olympic squad in Tokyo next year.
Brisbane: Jacco Verhaeren is standing down as head coach of Australia’s swim team, leaving Rohan Taylor to guide the Olympic squad in Tokyo next year.
Head Coach Jacco Verhaeren led the @SwimmingAUS @DolphinsAUS team to our most successful Commonwealth Games meets, in 2014 & 2018. We wish Jacco well, and wish the best to new head coach and three-time Commonwealth Games coach Rohan Taylor.#ThankyouJacco https://t.co/cMWuUpVWhU pic.twitter.com/teKuH37Ohg
— Commonwealth Games Australia (@CommGamesAUS) June 3, 2020
Verhaeren was contracted until after the 2020 Olympics but when the Tokyo Games were postponed by 12 months because of the coronavirus pandemic, he made the decision to return to the Netherlands with his family.
Verhaeren worked with Olympic champions Pieter van den Hoogenband and Inge de Bruijn when he led the Dutch swimming program and was hired in 2013 to overhaul Australia's set up following the team's disappointing medal haul at the London Olympics in 2012.
“I tried to look for ways to extend, but you can’t compromise in a high-performance environment, nor did I want to compromise my family,” Verhaeren said in a statement on Wednesday.
“I am honoured to have had the opportunity to serve this amazing swim team for almost seven years and I am confident that there are many good people around to ensure continued success."
Australia ranked second to the United States on the medal standings at the 2015 and '19 world swimming championships and at the 2016 Olympic pool.
Verhaeren will remain in Australia until September in a transition phase with Taylor, who coached three-time Olympic gold medalist Leisel Jones and was part of the national coaching program.
“Jacco has laid the groundwork for our Olympic campaign and I have worked closely with him and our Olympic leadership team, so I believe I am well placed to see those plans through and lead our team to success in Tokyo next year,” Taylor said.
Win Htet Oo is one of Myanmar's top swimmers but in early April, the 26-year-old said he was no longer interested in going to Tokyo.
Tokyo Olympics 2020: Neeraj Chopra says he desperately needs competitions before Games; confident of breaching 90m mark
“I feel I’m very close to throwing over 90m this year. If I can get competitions, I’m ready to breach 90m," said javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who's touted as India's best hope for a track and field medal at the Olympics.
"In a normal world I would never consider missing the Olympics. There is no doubt about that," said Nadal. "(But) Under these circumstances, I don't know. Let's see what's going on in the next couple of months."