The Australian swimming team has a lot of debutants among their ranks for the 17th Fina World Championships, together with the more experienced athletes. They all agreed on one thing: the facilities and venues are world-class. Jacco Verhaeren, head coach of the team briefed the press about the expectations for this World Championships, while Bronte Campbell shared her opinion about the host country and Budapest.
Jacco Verhaeren: "First of all, well done, Hungary! The preparations made for this contest are impressive. The whole venue is amazing, even the tiny details of the pool, despite it is 50m long like every other pool. As usual, we have no medal expectations in advance, the goal is to reach the best result possible. Furthermore, we have many debutants this year, we do not put pressure on them with such requirements. We aim to have great performances, to get experience."
Verhaeren, former coach of the Dutch team was asked about his experience regarding his takeover of the Australian team.
"Well, the language is different. Jokes aside, it is a fantastic experience. Australia has a vast infrastructure, great coaches, and more pools. I have learnt a lot from about 20 elite coaches. The mentality is very similar: everyone works to achieve victory. If someone loves swimming, this is the best position to be in."
Olympic gold-winner, world champion, and world record-holder Bronte Campbell was asked about the venue, Hungary, and its capital, also her expectations regarding the upcoming contest.
Bronte Campbell: "The city is awesome, it is great. The arena is huge, I can't imagine what the atmosphere going to be like in here when it's full. There are lots of seats, and when the Hungarians gather it is going to be huge. I can't wait for that. It will be great to be a part of such an event. I love the stadium, pretty incredible, I can't wait to race in that. I've never been into a big arena like this before, maybe next year."
"We had a short time in the city. We were at a coffee shop called "My Little Melbourne" because it is an Australian coffee shop. The city is lovely, there are a lot of beautiful old buildings. We were over the Danube river on the bridges. When we will finish we will have three more extra days and I will look around. I want to go to the baths, now I'm not sure, just go check out the vibe of the city. People seem friendly. We came two weeks ago, we adjusted very quickly, and now we are ready for racing."
"My main goal is to race fast and pain-free. At the moment I'm trying to get over injuries and I want to finish my race without any pain, and that would be a good starting point for the next four years. The Olympics is the most important tournament for me. I like world championships, it is a good time to get the world together and compete and see how you are going, but for me, 2020 is the next big most important event."