Olympic champ Ranomi Kromowidjojo has Campbell sisters in her sights
Olympic 50m and 100m freestyle champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo says she has put her `chaotic years` behind her and is ready to rival Australia`s Campbell sisters at the world swimming championships.
Kazan: Olympic 50m and 100m freestyle champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo says she has put her `chaotic years` behind her and is ready to rival Australia`s Campbell sisters at the world swimming championships.
The 24-year-old Dutch sprinter set Olympic records in winning both the freestyle sprints in London three years ago.
She added the world 50m title in Barcelona two years ago when Cate Campbell finished second, but the Australian powered to gold in the 100m final with Holland`s Kromowidjojo settling for bronze as Sweden`s Sarah Sjostrom took silver.
As well as the relays, which start on Sunday with the 4x100m freestyle, Kromowidjojo will race both the 50m and 100m individual events and expects the winning times in Kazan to be faster than those in Barcelona.
Campbell and Holland`s Femke Heemskerk have swum the joint fastest 100m time this year of 52.96 seconds -- nearly a second faster than Kromowidjojo`s best so far in 2015.
Cate`s sister Bronte clocked the world`s fourth fastest time in the Australian trials and Kromowidjojo says she will be paying close attention to the southern hemisphere siblings.
"There are a lot of girls to watch in both events, like Femke and Sjostrom, but the Campbell sisters are up there," said Kromowidjojo.
"It`s a strong field in the 100m freestyle. I`m not the favourite and I`m not sure where I am in the rankings, but we`ll see after the racing."
Campbell has benefited from working with Jacco Verhaeren, Australia`s Dutch head coach since 2014, who has helped her improve her turns, and Kromowidjojo jokingly admitted being worried what secrets have been divulged.
"Jacco`s a good friend of mine and I`m afraid he will be giving them a lot of help, but I am looking forward to racing the Australian girls," she said with a smile.
"It`s a challenge, I don`t know what her (Cate Campbell`s) preparation has been or what secrets Jacco told them, but there are no hard feelings.
"We`ll see next week what impact his coaching will have had and what the improvements will have been.
"The fight will be in the pool. Out of the water, it`s all good."
While the likes of US superstar Michael Phelps, 100m freestyle champion James Magnussen of Australia and France`s Yannick Agnel are missing in Kazan, Kromowidjojo says her events will be good yardsticks for next year`s Olympics.
"In my events, all the girls are here who I`ll be meeting next year in Rio, which I like," she said.
"In general, we are missing some big names, so it`s not the case that if you win this year, you`ll necessarily win next year.
"But I feel like I`m back to my best and I have missed that feeling for all of the last two years, it feels good to be back in good shape and having the excitement to race."
The Dutch sprinter sat out last year`s European championships in Berlin after a difficult period saw her change coaches in quick succession.
"I changed my coach three times. I chose not to swim the Europeans, because I had a chaotic year and it wasn`t my best season," she admits.
"I have a new coach in Patrick Pearson, who I started working with a year ago at the end of last season, and it`s all in balance.
"In the last couple of months, particularly the last few weeks, I have felt really good and strong.
"My technique has improved and I`m looking forward to racing. I can`t wait to be in the water and explode off the blocks."